While consumers may be swarming stores on Black Friday, it may not be enough to buoy some sinking retailers.
J. Crew announced late Tuesday that it plans to close 39 stores by the end of January, which amounts to about 6% of its total stores, CNN Money reports. The company has been in a state of upheaval since declining profits led to longtime CEO Mickey Drexler stepping down and the departure of visionary creative director Jenna Lyons. J. Crew sales decreased by 12% in the most recent quarter, and their losses are accelerating: last year, in the same quarter, sales were down 9%.
It wasn’t all bad news for J. Crew, Inc., though: Their Madewell brand actually increased sales by 22%. That may not be enough to keep the mothership afloat, though. During a conference call on Tuesday, J. Crew’s current president, COO, and CFO, Mike Nicholson said the company was shifting to a “digital first” operation, and doing away with the need for “traditional brick-and-mortar” stores.
J. Crew, of course, is not the only retailer facing a serious budget crunch. Bloomberg just released a list of stores that are facing a make-or-break holiday shopping season, including mall favorites like Claire’s and shoe-seller Nine West. Also on the list are department store chain Bon-Ton, which announced it’s closing 40 stores in 2018, and Sears, which has been a mainstay of the American shopping scene since 1893, but may not be able to survive the Amazon-fueled retail apocalypse.