4 retailers likely to close stores this year
These are the retailers that will close the most stores in 2013.
1. Best Buy
· Forecast store closings: 200 to 250
· Number of U.S. stores:1,056
· One-year stock performance: -36.8 percent
The holiday season was rough for Best Buy Co. Inc. Same-store sales declined by 1.4 percent year-over-year, with international stores posting a 6.4 percent decline while U.S. same-store sales were flat. Companywide, the electronics retailer reported that holiday revenue had declined to $12.8 billion from $12.9 billion the year before. In the most recent completed quarter, during which same-store sales declined 4.3 percent, the company reported a loss of $0.04 per share. Best Buy has been plagued by customers “showrooming” -- looking at products in the store and then purchasing them online -- in recent years. Speculation persists that former chairman and founder Richard Schulze may buy out the company.
2. Barnes & Noble
· Forecast store closings: 190 to 240, per company comments
· Number of U.S. stores: 689
· One-year stock performance: 8.95 percent
The move by customers away from print books toward digital books has hurt Barnes & Noble Inc.. Same-store sales during the nine-week holiday season fell by 8.2 percent year-over-year. The bookseller has tried to offset the declines in physical book sales with its Nook e-book reader device, but sales of that device fell 13 percent compared to the previous year. The company already has begun cutting down the number of its stores in the past several years. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, the head of the retail group at Barnes & Noble said he expected the company to have just 450 to 500 retail stores in 10 years.
3. Sears Holding Corp.
· Forecast store closings: Kmart 175 to 225, Sears 100 to 125
· Number of U.S. stores: 2,118
· One-year stock performance: 8.8 percent
Both Sears and Kmart have been going down the tubes for a long time, steadily losing their middle-income shoppers to retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. Sears Holdings Corp.'s same-store sales have declined for six years. In the most recent year, same-store sales at the namesake franchise fell by 1.6 percent and at Kmart by 3.7 percent, compared to the year-ago period. The company is already in the process of downsizing its brick-and-mortar presence. In 2012, Sears announced it was shutting 172 stores. CEO Lou D’Ambrosio is leaving the company in February, to be replaced by chairman and hedge-fund manager Edward Lampert. Lampert has minimal operating experience in retail management.
4. J.C. Penney
· Forecast store closings: 300 to 350
· Number of U.S. stores: 1,100
· One-year stock performance: -53.6 percent
J.C. Penney has gone through a rough stretch recently. In the most recent quarter, same-store sales fell by 26.1 percent compared to the year-ago period. Even Internet sales, which are increasing significantly across the retail sector, have taken a turn for the worst, falling 37.3 percent in the third quarter, compared to the prior year. J.C. Penney sales have taken a turn for the worst since former Apple Inc. retail chief Ron Johnson took the helm at the company. Johnson’s plan, among others, has been to wean customers off of heavy discounting and simply give customers low prices. However, retail strategists and analysts have argued that Johnson’s plans have created confusion among customers and has been a further setback to any potential turnaround.