The past two years haven’t been very kind to an already hurting brick-and-mortar retail industry.
The retail apocalypse continues to hit big-box stores hard, and many have struggled throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some have pivoted to e-commerce and online sales. Others announced permanent store closings or filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Here’s a look at the major retail chains that announced closings or shuttered stores permanently in 2021.
American Eagle Outfitters announced early this year it would close over 200 mall-based locations in the next three years. The company is planning to increase the footprint of its lingerie and activewear brand Aerie by about 50 stores.
There are currently 32 American Eagle locations and and 10 Aeries locations in New Jersey.
Banana Republic and Gap
Banana Republic’s parent company Gap Inc. announced in 2020 plans to close roughly 350 Gap and Banana Republic stores in North America by the end of 2023.
Over 200 stores have been shuttered since the 2020 announcement as Gap Inc. aims increase its online sales and decrease its brick-and-mortar presence.
In 2021, the company announced plans to close 100 Gap and Banana Republic stores worldwide.
Bed Bath & Beyond
The home goods retailer closed three locations in New Jersey this year:
- Howell (4075 Route 9)
- Jersey City (400 Marin Blvd.)
- Rockaway (202 Enterprise Dr.)
In 2020, Bed Bath & Beyond announced plans to close over 200 stores, citing a decline in sales amid the pandemic.
The company is planning to launch a number of new store brands to lure younger customers. It currently has 36 New Jersey locations and over 800 stores worldwide.
CVS Health announced plans to shutter about 300 stores per year over the next three years.
CVS has well over 100 stores in New Jersey, and about 10,000 stores in the U.S.
Disney is shifting its focus to e-commerce and closed 60 locations nationwide in 2021, including several brick-and-mortar stores throughout New Jersey:
- Bridgewater (Bridgewater Commons)
- Cherry Hill (Cherry Hill Mall)
- Deptford (Deptford Mall)
- Edison (Menlo Park Mall)
- Freehold (Freehold Raceway Mall)
- Jackson (Jackson Premium Outlets)
- Paramus (Westfield Garden State Plaza)
- Wayne (Willowbrook Mall)
Even though its traditional stores have been closing, Disney partnered with Target and began opening mini-shops inside of Target stores this year.
Designer Brands Inc., DSW’s parent company, identified about 65 stores that “would make sense to close” over the next four years, CFO Jared Poff said earlier this year.
DSW consolidated its business with fewer vendors this year as it focused on its top brands.
The company shuttered a number of stores in 2021 after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the spring of 2020.
The filing resulted in the announcement of plans to close about 30% of its brick-and-mortar stores before the end of 2021. Since then, 175 JCPenney locations have been liquidated.
New Jersey’s 11 JCPenney stores were not affected.
There are currently 671 stores throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
The tween girls’ fashion retailer closed its final brick-and-mortar spots in early 2021.
Justice had eight locations across New Jersey — Bridgewater, Cherry Hill, Deptford, Edison, Elizabeth, Freehold, Paramus and Wayne.
Justice has continued to operate online, and the brand made somewhat of a brick-and-mortar comeback in July, when Walmart began selling Justice products in stores nationwide.
Kmart closed two New Jersey stores in 2021. They were located in Belleville (411 Main St.) and Kearny (200 Passaic Ave.).
The two remaining Kmart locations in the state are at Delco Plaza in Avenel (1550 St. Georges Ave.) and Westwood Plaza in Westwood (700 Broadway).
Lord & Taylor
After nearly 200 years of operating, Lord & Taylor shuttered its last stores in 2021.
The department store chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020 after citing $137.9 million in debt obligations. It closed its final 38 stores in February of 2021.
The department store chain announced plans to permanently close 10 stores in 2022. Exact locations to be closed have yet to be announced.
Office Depot closed its two remaining stores in New Jersey on Nov. 13. The stores were located at:
- 1095 Route 1 (Edison)
- 1701 Morris Ave (Union)
There are currently over 1,400 Office Depot store locations.
Pep Boys will shutter several New Jersey stores as part of its plan to close over 100 locations and shift the company out of retail operations. The company will focus on Pep Boys garages and tire outlets.
Numerous stores in New Jersey closed retail operations in 2021, including locations in Audubon, Cherry Hill, Marlton, Parsipanny, Stratford and Turnersville.
There are currently over 1,000 throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
Shoppers World, which was one of Hamilton Mall’s anchor stores, quietly closed in October.
It was located inside the mall at 4405 E. Black Horse Pike in Mays Landing.
There are currently four other Shoppers World stores in New Jersey. They are located in East Brunswick, Elizabeth, North Bergen and South Plainfield. The chain has over 40 department stores nationwide.
The popular coffee chain closed about 600 locations throughout the United States between 2020 and 2021.
The Children’s Place
The Children’s Place announced plans to close 122 stores in 2021.
There are currently 30 The Children’s Place locations throughout the Garden State. It’s unknown which New Jersey locations will close, if any.
In 2020, the company made plans to reduce its mall-based, brick-and-mortar locations.
The underwear, lingerie and womenswear brand announced that it planned to permanently close between 30 to 50 stores in the United States and Canada in 2021.
Its parent company L Brands, which also owns Bath & Body Works, is currently working on a method to split from Victoria’s Secret, making the womenswear brand its own separate company.
RELATED STORIES ABOUT RETAIL AND SHOPPING:
Shake Shack approved to open 1st N.J. drive-thru
Charlie Brown’s restaurant chain to reopen 1 of the 13 N.J. spots it closed last year
The best snow shovels to buy this winter, according to reviews
Our journalism needs your support. Please subscribe today to NJ.com