Store Closings Could Hit 8,000 in 2010

Store closings continue to accelerate and if the holiday shopping season doesn't go well, there could be between 6,000 and 8,000 store closings in the first half of 2010.

This according to Al Williams, principal of Excess Space Retail Services, a real estate disposition and lease restructuring firm who made stark prediction in "Retail Real Estate Should Begin Its Healing Process in 2010" by Elaine Misonzhnik for

According to Misonzhnik, predictions were dire coming into 2009, but that did not come to pass. Many space disposition specialists have been surprised that in 2009 store closings have stayed comparatively low. Misonzhnik continues by saying that drastic cost-cutting measures and conservative merchandise orders helped many struggling retailers stay afloat. But Andy Graiser, co-president of DJM Realty LLC, a real estate consulting firm, told Misonzhnik that retailers ultimately will need to do more and cost-cutting can be a temporary salve. In 2010, retailers will need to show an improvement in sales at to survive long-term. That's why many predict that the closings that didn't happen in 2009 could happen in 2010.

Some of the most recent retailers to announce store closures include:

Borders: The country's second-largest brick and mortar book retailer is closing 200 of its mall-based Waldenbooks stores in January 2010.

Blockbuster: The video chain plans to close 400 stores between the fourth quarter of 2009 and early 2010, followed by another 250 store closures through the remainder of 2010.

Trans World: The music, video and movie stores plans to close 125 stores after this holiday shopping season due to underperformance and expiring leases.

Retailers that have announced store closures in 2009 include:

Aeropostale: 11 Jimmy'Z stores
Ann Taylor: 163 stores
Bashas: 14 Bashas and Food City stores
Big 10 Tires: 32 stores
Blockbuster: 300 stores
Brown Shoe: 25-30 Famous Footwear stores
Chico's FAS: 25 stores
Cost Plus: 26 stores
Finlay: 40 stores
Gap: 100 stores
Home Depot: 48 stores
Phillips-Van Heusen: 175 stores
Pier 1 Imports: 125 stores
Sears: 28 stores
S&K Famous Brands: 79 stores
Starbucks: 300 stores
Steve Madden: 13 stores
Talbots: 20 stores
Wal-Mart Canada: 6 Sam's Club locations
Wet Seal: 16 Wet Seal and Arden B stores
Yankee Candle: entire Illuminations unit
Zale: 118 stores
Z Gallerie: 25 stores

Click here to read "Retail Real Estate Should Begin Its Healing Process in 2010."
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