National retail chains consistently point to Charlotte’s growing population and its share of young working people as reasons to expand here. But the city isn’t immune to the challenges facing brick-and-mortar stores, which continue to scale back in cities across the U.S., including Charlotte.
From department store chains to teen retailers to grocery stores, retail companies have looked for ways to save money as customers are increasingly shopping online. Some chains, including Wet Seal, have decided to close all of their stores. Others like Wal-Mart have had to close only certain underperforming stores.
Experts say chains will continue to consolidate to cut costs. J.C. Penney, for instance, said last month it plans to close at least 130 stores across the U.S. over the next several months.
Here are 10 of the major retail chains that have shuttered stores in the Charlotte area over the last year:
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▪ Macy’s: The department store chain said late last year it had sold five stores, including the one at Carolina Place Mall in Pineville, to a real estate investment firm. The local store closed earlier this year.
▪ Hollister: The teen retailer’s parent company, Abercrombie & Fitch, has experienced sales declines for years. Hollister, which opened in SouthPark in summer 2003, closed its doors at the south Charlotte mall in January.
▪ Hhgregg: The electronics retailer announced last week it was closing 88 stores, including one in Mooresville, in a push to return to profitability.
▪ The Limited: Weeks before filing for bankruptcy, the women’s apparel store announced earlier this year its plans to close its Charlotte-area locations, including stores in Concord Mills, Northlake Mall and Carolina Place Mall.
▪ J. Crew: The apparel seller closed its store in Northlake Mall earlier this year. J. Crew has been losing customers over the years because of its prices, and the company has instead been focusing on its lower-priced concepts, including J. Crew Mercantile.
▪ Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market: Wal-Mart closed its Neighborhood Market on Independence Boulevard last week. The retail giant has been closing other locations of its grocery store concept, including in Chicago and Marietta, Ga.
▪ Kmart: Sears Holding, the parent company of Kmart, said earlier this year it is closing 150 unprofitable stores nationwide, including its location in Concord.
▪ Kohl’s: As part of a nationwide cost-saving effort, Kohl’s closed 18 underperforming stores, including one in Pineville, last June.
▪ Wet Seal: The teen retailer closed all of its stores nationwide earlier this year after it was unable to find a buyer, according to media reports. The company had operated stores in Concord Mills and Carolina Place Mall.