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This is likely to go down as the most brutal year ever for store chains! By our count, bankrupt Sears, out-of-business Toys R Us and others have closed well over 5,000 stores, and that's looking only at the bigger chains. Smaller, regional retailers have shuttering stores, too.

The huge shopping shift away from the mall and onto the smartphone and tablet has meant more going-out-of-business sales, store layoffs and empty big boxes.

We count down the 29 major retailers closing the most stores in 2018.

29. J.C. Penney

8 stores

After shutting down nearly 140 stores last year, J.C. Penney has been at it again in 2018. The department store chain said eight locations, from California to New Jersey, would be out of business before summer.

SALINAS, CA/USA - FEBRUARY 8, 2014: JC Penny store in Salinas California. J. C. Penney Company Inc. is a chain of American mid-range department stores based in Plano, Texas.
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock

Penney's, which has been losing money for years, also plans to close a distribution center in Wisconsin this summer.

28. Lord & Taylor

10 stores

Your grandmother may have shopped at Lord & Taylor — and your grandmother's grandmother and her grandmother, too. The department store chain has been around for more than 190 years.

Lord & Taylor's flagship store on Fifth Ave. in New York City
Binibining Beth / Shutterstock
The Lord & Taylor store on Fifth Avenue in New York City is an institution.

But Lord & Taylor is struggling to draw today's younger shoppers. Its parent company has decided to shut down up to 10 stores in 2018 — one-fifth of the total — including the chain's iconic flagship store on New York City's Fifth Avenue.

27. Macy’s

11 stores

Macy's closed around 70 of its department stores in 2017 and started off 2018 by announcing it would shut down nearly a dozen more.

Lafayette, IN - Circa July 2016: Macy's Department Store. Macy'??s, Inc. is one of the Nation's Premier Omnichannel Retailers IV
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock
Macy's started off 2018 by announcng it would close more stores.

The company says it wants to focus on its stores that are top moneymakers, and on its website. Macy’s has a strong presence online and is hungry to win over more shoppers there.

26. Victoria's Secret

20 stores

In fashion, you're either in or you're out. Twenty Victoria's Secret stores are out — they're being closed because of skimpy sales at the lingerie retailer.

MIAMI, FL - October, 1st, 2017: Aventura mall is one of South Florida largest upscale retail malls. Fashion women lingerie underwear clothes boutique Victoria's Secret front store.
Olga V Kulakova / Shutterstock

Management blames some style choices that missed the mark. And, analysts say Victoria's Secret and its Pink brand have been losing out to competitors like American Eagle's Aerie women's underwear.

25. Crocs

47 stores

Crocs — the company that makes those colorful, rubbery clogs with the holes — has been shrinking its "footprint." In other words, scaling back the number of brick-and-mortar stores it operates.

Valras-Plage, Herault, France - Aug 25 2017: Rack with lots of pairs of childrens soft rubber sandals or
Gary Perkin / Shutterstock
Crocs plans to close about 50 more of its footwear stores.

When it had 558 stores in March of 2017, the funky footwear firm said it wanted to reduce that tally to 400 by the end of 2018. At the beginning of this year, Crocs was still about 50 closings from its target.

24. J. Crew

50 stores

Many malls are kinda dead these days, at least compared to how busy they used to be. And that's really bad news for preppy clothing chain J. Crew, because most of its stores are at the mall.

CHICAGO, IL - 04 APRIL, 2016: inside 900 North Michigan, Chicago. 900 North Michigan is a skyscraper in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
Sorbis / Shutterstock
Nautical-themed retailer J. Crew has been taking on water.

The troubled company said it would close 50 stores early in 2018 — more than double the number it had announced earlier. If you got a J. Crew gift card for the holidays, you may want to use it fast.

23. Abercrombie & Fitch

60 stores

The teen retailer known for its buff models and torn jeans will be turning out the lights at 60 of its Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister stores this year.

INDIANAPOLIS - CIRCA OCTOBER 2015: Abercrombie & Fitch Clothing Store in Indianapolis I
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock
Abercrombie & Fitch will shut down 60 stores this year.

The Abercrombie company has been shedding its locations in malls because — you guessed it — more of its customers want to buy their threads online.

22. Sam’s Club

63 stores

Walmart says it's closing 63 of its Sam's Club warehouse club stores, though 12 of them will be converted to warehouses to store online merchandise.

Kokomo - Circa October 2016: Sam's Club Warehouse Logo and Signage. Sam's Club is a chain of membership only stores owned by Walmart I
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock
Walmart is closing scores of its Sams Clubs.

The chain's CEO has suggested some of the stores were too close to others. Almost 600 Sam’s Clubs will remain.

21. Claire's

92 stores

Claire's, the retailer that keeps teenage girls well-accessorized in bangles and bling, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March and said it would close 92 of its stores this spring.

Toronto, Canada - February 7, 2018:  Claire's storefront in Fairview Mall in Toronto. Claire's is an American retailer of accessories and jewelry primarily aimed toward girls and young women.
JHVEPhoto / Shutterstock
Claire's is closing nearly 100 of its teen jewelry and accessories stores.

The company says it has been hurt by dying malls, competition from big-box chains (like Target) and "the increased popularity of online shopping."

20. Winn-Dixie and Bi-Lo

94 stores

Supermarkets are not immune from the forces shaking up retailing. Smaller grocery chains are being squeezed out as Americans do more of their food shopping at dollar stores, Walmart and Amazon's Whole Foods.

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA/USA - APRIL 13, 2017: Winn-Dixie retail grocery store exterior. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. is an American supermarket chain.
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock
The parent company of Winn-Dixie is wrapping things up this year at almost 100 of its supermarkets.

Amid that backdrop, Southeastern Grocers has filed for bankruptcy and has announced it's shutting down nearly 100 of its Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo and other supermarkets in seven southern states.

19. Kmart

More than 95 stores

The company behind the struggling Sears chain also owns the gasping Kmart discount stores. This year, it has been shutting down another 95 Kmart locations (a number that has grown steadily throughout 2018) because they're money losers.

KMart store in Goldsboro, North Carolina, slated to close in March 2017. Maintenance truck in front of Ashley Plaza sign where banner advertising the KMart liquidation sale was just hung.
Jennifer Vinciguerra/Shutterstock

Parent company Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy in October and said it would close another 142 Kmart and Sears stores, though it didn't immediately give a breakdown.

18. Brookstone

102 stores

Brookstone — that store tired shoppers have counted on for soothing demonstrations in its massage chairs — has filed for bankruptcy and is closing all 102 of its mall stores.

New Orleans, USA - Nov 25, 2017: In Lakeside Shopping Center, featuring Brookstone retail store. Black Friday sale with shoppers walking about.
Victor Wong / Shutterstock

The shops known for selling all sorts of quirky gadgets have been losing business to online retailers. But you can still get a Brookstone fix when you travel: Its airport locations will remain open.

17. Foot Locker

110 stores

More than 100 Foot Locker stores are in their final inning and are expected to close in 2018. CEO Richard Johnson told analysts in early March that the company is leaving malls that are "starting to deteriorate."

RIMINI, ITALY - FEBRUARY 11, 2016: Foot Locker shop located in a shopping center in Rimini.
DisobeyArt / Shutterstock

The sneaker and athletic clothing chain is opening 40 new stores this year, including a new Champs Sports flagship store in New York's Times Square.

16. Guess?

Up to 120 stores

Guess? is doing better overseas than in the U.S., so the fashion retailer is guessing that cutting way back on its American stores will be good for business.

Guess outlet store in NY
Tooykrub/Shutterstock

The company plans to permanently lock the doors at 100 to 120 U.S. stores in 2018, after closing around 60 last year. Meanwhile, the chain plans to expand in Europe and Asia.

15. Vitamin World

124 stores

The Vitamin World chain is looking like a 98-pound weakling these days. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2017 and put 124 stores in going-out-of-business mode. They were expected to close by February 2018.

Vitamin World
designs by Jack/Shutterstock

The company has been looking for a buyer for its remaining 220 or so stores.

14. Michael Kors

Up to 125 stores

High-end fashion accessories giant Michael Kors will shut down 100 to 125 stores in the next two years after major drops in sales in 2017. Kors sales in both its branded stores and department stores fell by double digits.

BEIJING, CHINA - May 6, 2016: Luxury interior of the Michael Kors brand store
J. Lekavicius / Shutterstock
It hasn't been pretty for Michael Kors stores.

If you’re a fan of Michael Kors (the brand, not necessarily the designer and snarky judge from "Project Runway"), then you’ll be glad to hear the firm is restructuring, not tanking. The company’s stock price has been going up and up!

13. The Children’s Place

Up to 144 stores

Kids may grow, but longtime kids' clothing retailer The Children's Place has been getting smaller and smaller. And, it plans to shut down another 144 stores by 2020.

Edison, New Jersey December 16 2017: The Children's Palce Logo On Store Front Sign.
Helen89 / Shutterstock
The Children's Place keeps shrinking.

TCP wants to refocus on expanding its sales on Amazon and growing its international business, says Forbes.

12. Sears

More than 145 stores

Sears' business has been in a steady decline for more than a decade, and the company's stock price has dropped from about $40 a share in June 2015 to less than $1 in 2018. (Yikes!) In October, Sears filed for bankruptcy.

HDR image, Sears retailer storefront entrance, shopping mall - Saugus, Massachusetts USA - September 2, 2017
QualityHD / Shutterstock
The Sears chain continues to dwindle.

The retailer has been closing stores throughout the year and said when it announced its bankruptcy filing that it would shutter another 142 Sears and Kmart stores, out of the roughly 700 remaining.

9. (tie) Gap/Banana Republic

200 stores

Two of your local mall's staples — Gap and Banana Republic — may soon disappear. Parent company Gap Inc. says 200 of those stores will go dark in the next three years because they’re "underperforming."

NEW YORK CITY - APRIL 19: Shoppers walk past a Gap retail outlet in New York City, on Friday, April 19, 2013.
Northfoto / Shutterstock
Gap Inc. is shuttering hundreds of Gap and Banana Republic locations.

Even if your nearest stores close, you’ll still be able to get your Gap and Banana fix online. And it’s not all bad news for the company: It plans to open 270 new stores for its growing brands, Old Navy and Athleta.

9. (tie) GNC

200 stores

GNC is another vitamin retailer that has been looking sickly. Executives hope closing 200 stores in the U.S. and Canada will be just the spoonful of tonic the company needs to improve its financial health.

HDR image, GNC vitamin nutrition storefront, shopping mall - Woburn, Massachusetts USA - February 14, 2018
QualityHD / Shutterstock
GNC hopes closing stores will restore the company to financial health.

The chain's strength has been sapped by the decline of shopping malls (where most of its stores are) and tough competition from Amazon and other online vitamin sellers.

9. (tie) Signet Jewelers

200 stores

Never heard of Signet? It's the company behind many of the big jewelry chains found in malls, including Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry, and Piercing Pagoda.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 21 2018:Zales sign inside in mall jewelery store
Helen89 / Shutterstock
Zales' parent company, Signet Jewelers, plans to shutter 200 of its stores.

Signet says it wants to put more of a shimmer on its online retailing. It's closing 200 stores but says 75% of those are in malls with other Signet-operated stores, which will pick up some of the lost business.

8. Best Buy Mobile

250 stores

Electronics big-box chain Best Buy has decided to shut down all 250 of its not-so-big Best Buy Mobile stores found in malls.

Pavlograd, Ukraine - October 31, 2014: Best Buy is the world�¢??s largest multi-channel consumer electronics retailer with stores in the U.S., Canada, China and Mexico.
Vdovichenko Denis / Shutterstock

In a letter to employees, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly says the stand-alone mobile phone stores aren't very profitable. And, he says shoppers will typically find a regular Best Buy store nearby where they can buy a phone.

7. Bon-Ton

260 stores

It's all over for the Bon-Ton family of department stores, which includes the Bergner's, Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers chains.

Lancaster, PA - January 15, 2017: Exterior Entrance of a Bon-Ton store, Bon-Ton is  a chain of retail department stores in over 250 locations.
George Sheldon / Shutterstock
Troubled retailer Bon-Ton is shutting down.

The 160-year-old retailer filed for bankruptcy in February and initially said it would close around 50 stores in 2018. Two months later, the company decided it would have to shut down entirely.

6. Teavana

379 stores

The end is brewing for Starbucks' tea brand: The company plans to shutter all 379 of its mall-based Teavana locations. Most were to be out of business by the spring.

DENVER, USA - JUNE 25, 2014: Unidentified people at Teavana store in Denver. Teavana is a specialty tea and tea accessory retailer based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Goran Bogicevic / Shutterstock
Closings are brewing for all of Starbucks' Teavana outlets.

Although Starbucks made efforts to use merchandising and store redesigns to net more customers, the strategies just didn’t percolate.

5. Subway

500 stores

The Subway chain of sandwich shops is slimming down. After closing more than 900 stores last year, the company says it wants to shut down around 500 more of its U.S. locations in 2018.

HDR image, Subway sandwich restaurant shop located inside Walmart retail store - Peabody, Massachusetts USA - February 12, 2018
QualityHD / Shutterstock
Subway wants to close 500 U.S. stores this year.

Subway is still massive, with more than 44,000 stores around the world, including nearly 26,000 in the U.S. But its business is in a pickle from competitors, including supermarket sandwich counters.

4. Ann Taylor and her sisters

Up to 547 stores

The company behind Ann Taylor, Loft, Dressbarn and other clothing chains for women plans to close as many as 547 more stores by 2019. That's on top of at least 120 that Ascena Retail Group shut down in 2017.

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA, JULY 22, 2017: Ann Taylor Loft Retail Store
designs by Jack / Shutterstock
The parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft is shutting down hundreds of those stores.

Falling sales and astronomical commercial rents have been big problems for the retailer.

3. Rite Aid

600 stores

Headaches are on the way for many Rite Aid drugstore customers: They'll have to transfer their prescriptions because 600 Rite Aids will close, starting this spring.

Rite Aid store in Michigan
Susan Montgomery/Shutterstock

The Walgreens pharmacy chain is buying nearly 2,000 stores from its rival Rite Aid and says any of those locations that are too close to a Walgreens will be put out of business.

2. Mattress Firm

Up to 700 stores

After probably more than a few restless nights for its executives, Mattress Firm filed for bankruptcy in October and said it would close 200 of its stores immediately. Another 500 could be shut down by the end of 2018.

Kokomo - Circa November 2016: Mattress Firm Strip Mall Location. Retailer Steinhoff will buy Mattress Firm for $3.8 billion II
Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock

That would leave more than 2,500 locations. The company grew too quickly through a series of mergers that left it with a glut of stores. Plus, it has frisky online rivals that never sleep.

1. Toys R Us

735 stores

It's game over for Toys R Us in 2018. The chain that helped raise generations of kids says it's closing all 735 of its remaining U.S. stores and will try to sell its roughly 80 stores in Canada.

Emeryville, CA - March 10, 2018: Toys R Us store front. Bankrupt retailer Toys R Us may shut all its US stores as soon as next week, according to several reports.
Sheila Fitzgerald / Shutterstock
2018 will be remembered as the year Toys R Us went out of business.

The company filed for bankruptcy last September, then had a dismal holiday season. Analysts say what killed Toys R Us was online competition and kids choosing electronic gadgets over traditional toys.

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