The company expects to close 200 this year and 100 more in 2021.
Another retailer has announced mass store closings related to the coronavirus pandemic. Children’s clothing company The Children’s Place said it will close 300 stores in the next two years, starting with liquidation sales as the stores reopen this summer. The plans were announced in a quarterly earnings call on June 11, 2020. The Children’s Place says the pandemic in combination with a bigger shift to online sales influenced the company’s decision. The Children’s Place has 900 stores in the U.S. and Canada, including the Gymboree brand it bought out of bankruptcy this year.
Store closures due to the pandemic resulted in a 38 percent decrease in sales, while at the same time online sales for the company exploded.
“We believe that our long-standing transformation strategy has prepared us well for these uncertain times, said Jane Elfers, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As demand for our essential children’s clothing continues to surge, our omni-channel advantages are clear; quarter-to-date, our consolidated sales are up positive low double-digits, with on-line demand up 300%, while approximately 95% of our stores remain closed. We are planning to have the majority of our stores open by July 1st.”
A list of the stores slated to close has not been released, but Elfers said the closures would be concentrated on mall locations. The company bought children’s clothing retailer Gymboree out of bankruptcy in 2017. It has been primarily operating Gymboree online with some clothes available in The Children’s Place as a store-within-a-store concept. Retail sales were up 17.7 percent in May as stores reopened and consumers returned to shopping for things like clothing and sporting goods.
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