2018 has not been a good year for many major retailers in Canada. Several retail giants have filed for bankruptcy and have closed down multiple stores across the country, leaving loyal Canadian customers shocked and confused.
Many of these stores have a long history of operating in Canada. However, it looks like all of that is about to change, as several of these companies are shutting down their stores across Canada and officially going out of business. Check out which retailers have filed for bankruptcy and whether your favourite stores are going down.
Shed a tear for your favourite childhood store. Toys"R"Us Canada has filed for bankruptcy protection, but it's not all bad news. The company is not looking to shut down their stores, unlike its previous U.S. parent, according to Business Insider. It was announced in March 2018 that all 735 of the U.S. Toys"R"Us stores would be shutting down. The Canadian side of Toys"R"Us, however, is still fighting and it appears they might make it out alive and well, despite filing for bankruptcy protection.
Sears used to be one of the largest retailers in the world, but it filed for bankruptcy protection on October 15th, 2018, according to Business Insider. The company also announced that the CEO, Eddie Lampert, would be stepping down. They announced that 142 stores would close before the year concluded. On top of these closures, the company had already shut down several of its stores – operating only 687 Sears and Kmart stores when they filed for bankruptcy, which is over 1,000 less than the amount of stores operating comparison to almost 2,000 stores five years ago in 2013, Business Insider reports. However, if you're nostalgic and still want to get some shopping done at Sears, there are currently still some locations left standing.
Shoe retailer Nine West Holdings filed for bankruptcy in April 2018 and has shut down all of their Canadian and American stores, according to Now Toronto. The company listed that they had over $1 billion dollars in debt, Business Insider reports. Since its bankruptcy and store closures, the company has now been acquired by Authentic Brands Groups, which owns clothing lines such as Juicy Couture and Aéropostale, for $340 million dollars, according to Retail Dive.
This Ontario denim retailer announced this month on November 1st, 2018 that it would be shutting down its 24 stores by February of next year. The company ran for 42 years in the province. The stores will start to close this holiday season and the online store will be non-existent by the new year. Jean Machine filed for bankruptcy in January 2017 but announced the closures of all their stores this month. They have stores across Ontario.
Claire's is probably the place that you got your ears pierced when you were a kid. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. back in March but had stated that the Canadian stores were not impacted, according to Global News. Claire's announced that they would be closing down 92 stores in the U.S., on top of the 166 stores they shut down two years ago in 2016, according to Business Insider. The company blamed declining customer traffic for their demise. "The retail industry as a whole has been challenged by shifts in consumer purchasing preferences and habits," Claire's said in a bankruptcy filing.
Designer Shoe Warehouse Inc. announced two months ago in September 2018 that they would be shutting down all of their Canadian Town Shoes retail stores. There were 38 stores across the country, all of which will be shut down by the start of next year, January 2019. Town Shoes was originally created in Toronto over 60 years ago in 1952 by Leonard Simpson.
Ann Taylor, LOFT, and Justice
The Ascena Retail Group, which owns stores that operate in Canada such as Ann Taylor and LOFT, announced that they would be closing down 250 to 650 stores by July 2019. Although they have not yet filed for bankruptcy, they are still closing down hundreds of stores. According to Style Democracy, who names the company as a struggling retailer in 2018, the reason for this is to "reduce costs and pursue rent breaks with landlords to keep remaining stores open".