AS the dreaded ‘retail apocalypse ‘ chugs on, another popular clothing chain has announced they will be shuttering roughly 17% of their stores.
The Children’s Place is set to close 100 of their 600 remaining stores over the next year in what leadership has described as a “fleet optimization initiative.”
The decision was publicized on March 16, when President and CEO Jane Effers delivered the news over an earnings call, according to BestLife.
Elfers explained that the company was anticipating shutting down approximately 100 locations, and the “bulk of those store closures” were scheduled to occur in 2023.
She did not reveal any specific information on which stores would close or when the closures would take place.
Reportedly, the retailer has been struggling over the last few years and has been planning to transition to a digital-first business model.
Since 2019, the Children’s Place has permanently closed 315 of their physical stores.
Elfers explained that the movement towards an online storefront is based on market trends.
“Our fleet optimization strategy has been a critical part of our company’s structural reset and aligns with our current and future customers’ digital shopping preferences,” she said.
The retail leader pointed towards generational differences in shopping habits.
“The data is clear. Millennials have a strong preference for online shopping, and this is only projected to continue to increase with Gen Z parents.”
The Children’s Place is not the only clothing brand with plans to downsize.
Gap has also announced they are moving forward with their agenda to “close 50 to 55 Gap and Banana Republic stores” in 2023.
Chief Financial Officer Katrina O’Connell noted that the store has been reducing the size of their physical portfolio over the years.
On the company website, Gap explained that the reduction should result in “smaller and healthier fleet of stores.”
“As we adapt to the current market conditions and meet the increase in online demand, we are looking thoughtfully at our real estate to support the best path forward,” the company wrote.
As some shoppers begin to consider refreshing their Spring wardrobe, it may be wise to check if they’re go-to clothing stores are still open.