Retail Stores Downsized or out of Business in 2012

Blockbuster
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David Friedman / Getty Images 

Since the U.S. retail industry comprises more than 60% of the U.S. GDP overall, closing or liquidating retail stores are generally viewed to be key indicators of U.S. economic health. But because of the radical shift in consumer behaviors, recent history has not necessarily proven that brick-and-mortar store closings have a negative economic impact and vice versa.  

For instance, 2011 was a year of expansion for the U.S. retail industry, even though it was a year of instability for the U.S. economy. Measured by store openings and closings, it was hoped that the retail industry expansion would continue in 2012. But when major U.S. retail chains like Sears, Blockbuster, The Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch announced triple-digit store closing plans for 2012, it seemed to indicate trouble for retail sales and a backward step for the U.S. economy. In fact, this was not the case, and the U.S. GDP grew by 2.2% despite a massive number of Going Out of Business sales that year.

With the benefit of hindsight, it is apparent that the large number of 2012 retail store closings in the Sears, Blockbuster, The Gap, and Abercrombie & Fitch retail chains had less to do with the shifting of consumer fortunes and more to do with the shifts in consumer preferences and the mammoth retail companies that couldn't keep pace. When it refused to adopt discount pricing strategies during the Great Recession, Abercrombie & Fitch alienated a significant portion of its customer base. Sears and The Gap both struggled with merchandise mix and pricing for years before 2012 and had also lost their strong customer bases in the process.

Blockbuster's closings were an inevitable result of the shifting preferences toward online and digital viewing of movies, TV shows, and recorded video content. Netflix and Redbox have also stolen Blockbuster customers with convenience and extremely low prices.
While the total number of store closings that happened in the 2012 calendar year seems relatively insignificant when compared to previous economic recession and recovery years, they continued throughout the year, and they were not insignificant.

 The shift to Internet and mobile shopping was trending even before 2012, causing the demand for brick and mortar store shopping to trend lower even in the years before 2012. The largest U.S. retail chains had little choice besides downsizing to match consumer preferences, and they continue to downsize in 2016 as leases expire and less profitable locations are identified and closed down.
What follows is a complete roundup list of retail chains that closed stores, downsized, or went out of business completely in the 2012 calendar year, for research and historical purposes.

ARCHIVED FROM 2012 - The number in the left column is the total number of stores that were closed as part of downsizing, liquidation, or going out of business efforts in the U.S. retail industry in 2012. Information for this 2012 Store Closing List was obtained from reports made available to the general public through news reports, corporate documents, and company press releases.

This Store Closings list is arranged numerically according to the number of store closings. The most recent additions are indicated in bold lettering. This list was last updated on 9-18-12.

For the current 2016 Complete Store Closings Roundup List, click here >>

2012 Retail Store Closings Roundup

  • 600  Fashion Bug (through early 2013)
  • 500  Blockbuster
  • 180  Abercrombie & Fitch ("over the next few years")
  • 172  Sears
  • 137  Ritz Camera & Image / Wolf Camera
  • 123  Collective Brands (Payless, Stride Rite) by 2013
  • 120  Pacific Sunwear
  • 113  Food Lion
  • 103  Christopher & Banks (starting in Q4 2011)
  • 100  Family Dollar
  • 100  The Gap
  • 96    Avenue
  • 93    Esprit
  • 76    USA Drug / Super D / Drug Warehouse / May's / Med-X
  • 70    Casual MaleXL
  • 63    Betsey Johnson
  • 55    Ascena Retail (dressbarn, marices, Justice)
  • 50    Best Buy
  • 50    T.J. Maxx (U.S., Canada, and Europe)
  • 40    Catherine's (Charming Shoppes)
  • 35    Office Max
  • 30    Coldwater Creek
  • 25    Beauty 360
  • 25    Lane Bryant (Charming Shoppes)
  • 25    Sonic
  • 24    Ruby Tuesday (Marlin & Ray’s, Wok Hay, Truffles Grill, Lime Fresh)
  • 22    77kids
  • 19    Daffy's
  • 14    United Carpets
  • 13    Cato
  • 12    Fred's
  • 11    Sara Lee Outlets
  • 8      Bill's BBQ
  • 6      Bottom Dollar
  • 6      Waldbaums
  • 5      Carl's Patio
  • 5      Hallmark
  • 5      Pathmark
  • 5      Shoe Carnival
  • 4      Macaroni Grill
  • 4      Mandee
  • 3      A&P
  • 3      Bloom
  • 3      Genuardi
  • 3      Loupot's
  • 3      Wise Buys
  • 2      All Sports
  • 2      C&C Kids
  • 2      CVS
  • 2      Disney Stores
  • 2      O'Boys Bar-B-Q
  • 2      Raley's
  • 2      Rochester Clothing
  • 2      Traditions Bookstore
  • 1      Ace Hardware
  • 1      Aldi
  • 1      American Eagle
  • 1      Ann Taylor
  • 1      Bang & Olufsen
  • 1      Ben Franklin Crafts
  • 1      Bloomingdale's
  • 1      Bon-Ton
  • 1      Casey's General Store
  • 1      Dolan's Lumber
  • 1      Family Video
  • 1      Harley Davidson
  • 1      Home Depot
  • 1      Homeland
  • 1      Hot & Crusty
  • 1      IGA
  • 1      Jewel
  • 1      Jewel-Osco
  • 1      Kroger
  • 1      La-Z-Boy Furniture
  • 1      Learning Express
  • 3      Marsh Supermarkets
  • 1      Maytag Appliance Store
  • 1      Menards
  • 1      Miller's Super Valu
  • 1      Napa Auto Parts
  • 1      Nordstrom
  • 2      Old Navy
  • 1      Payless Shoe Source
  • 1      Pottery Barn
  • 1      Price Cutter
  • 2      Ralph's
  • 1      Saks
  • 1      Stein Mart
  • 1      Stop 'n Shop
  • 1      Stride Rite
  • 60    SuperValu (Albertson's / ACME / Save-A-Lot)
  • 1      Talbot's
  • 1      Toys 'R Us
  • 1      True Value Hardware
  • 1      Valu King
  • 1      Vann's
  • 1      Harley Walgreens
  • 1      Wet Seal

    2012 U.S. Retail Industry Store Closings

    • 22    77kids
    • 3      A&P
    • 180  Abercrombie & Fitch ("over the next few years")
    • 1      Ace Hardware
    • 1      Aldi
    • 2      All Sports
    • 1      American Eagle
    • 1      Ann Taylor
    • 96    Avenue
    • 1      Bang & Olufsen
    • 25    Beauty 360
    • 1      Ben Franklin Crafts
    • 50    Best Buy
    • 63    Betsey Johnson
    • 8      Bill's BBQ
    • 3      Bloom
    • 55    Ascena Retail (dressbarn, marices, Justice)
    • 500  Blockbuster
    • 7      Bloom
    • 1      Bloomingdale's
    • 1      Bon-Ton
    • 6      Bottom Dollar
    • 5      Carl's Patio
    • 1      Casey's General Store
    • 70    Casual MaleXL
    • 40    Catherine's (Charming Shoppes)
    • 13    Cato
    • 2      C&C Kids
    • 103  Christopher & Banks (starting in Q4 2011)
    • 30    Coldwater Creek
    • 123  Collective Brands (Payless, Stride Rite) by 2013
    • 2      CVS
    • 19    Daffy's
    • 2      Disney Stores
    • 1      Dolan's Lumber
    • 93    Esprit
    • 100  Family Dollar
    • 1      Family Video
    • 600  Fashion Bug (through early 2013)
    • 113  Food Lion
    • 12    Fred's
    • 100  The Gap
    • 3      Genuardi
    • 5      Hallmark
    • 1      Harley Davidson
    • 1      Home Depot
    • 1      Homeland
    • 1      Hot & Crusty
    • 1      IGA
    • 1      Jewel
    • 1      Jewel-Osco
    • 1      Kroger
    • 25    Lane Bryant (Charming Shoppes)
    • 1      La-Z-Boy Furniture
    • 1      Learning Express
    • 3      Loupot's
    • 4      Macaroni Grill
    • 4      Mandee
    • 3      Marsh Supermarkets
    • 1      Maytag Appliance Store
    • 1      Menards
    • 1      Miller's Super Valu
    • 1      Napa Auto Parts
    • 1      Nordstrom
    • 2      O'Boys Bar-B-Q
    • 35    Office Max
    • 2      Old Navy
    • 120  Pacific Sunwear
    • 5      Pathmark
    • 1      Payless Shoe Source
    • 1      Pottery Barn
    • 1      Price Cutter
    • 2      Raley's
    • 1      Ralph's
    • 137  Ritz Camera & Image / Wolf Camera
    • 2      Rochester Clothing
    • 24    Ruby Tuesday (Marlin & Ray’s, Wok Hay, Truffles Grill, Lime Fresh)
    • 1      Saks
    • 11    Sara Lee Outlets
    • 172  Sears
    • 5      Shoe Carnival
    • 25    Sonic
    • 1      Stein Mart
    • 1      Stop 'n Shop
    • 1      Stride Rite
    • 60    SuperValu (Albertson's / ACME / Save-A-Lot)
    • 1      Talbot's
    • 50    T.J. Maxx (U.S., Canada, and Europe)
    • 1      Toys 'R Us
    • 2      Traditions Bookstore
    • 1      True Value Hardware
    • 76    USA Drug / Super D / Drug Warehouse / May's / Med-X
    • 14    United Carpets
    • 1      Valu King
    • 1      Van's
    • 6      Waldbaums
    • 1      Walgreens
    • 1      Wet Seal
    • 3      Wise Buys