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The Death of Brick and Morter Retail

by Lauren Speck

Retail chains all over the country have recently announced store closings.

The department store Bon-Ton, closed 42 stores in February of this year, according to usatoday.com., after the chain filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy allows the company to stay in business while it restructures The Bon-Ton store at the Westmoreland mall was not on the list of closing stores.

In March, Abercrombie and Fitch, who also owns Hollister stores, announced that it would close 60 stores. The specific store locations are currently not known. Foot Locker will also close over 100 stores, according to cnbc.com. A few days later, according to bloomberg.com Claire’s, a teen accessories store chain, was preparing to file for bankruptcy. Claire’s has not announced any store closings yet.

Another store that filed for bankruptcy is Toys R Us, who may now close all of it’s stores in the United States, according to triblive.com. The chain filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in September 2017, and closed 182 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in January, including four in the Pittsburgh area.

As of March 5, 2017, according to usatoday.com, the store had failed to find a way to manage it’s five billion dollar debt, which was the result of a leverage buyout by the private equity firm Bain Capital in 2005. On March 13, 2017, cnbc.com reported that the chain is preparing it’s liquidation plan and will likely close all of it’s stores in the U.S. Several stores in the U.K. are already closing, according to theguardian.com

These, and many other store closings that have been announced over the past few months, are said to be the result of the increasing popularity of online shopping on websites such as amazon.com. A study from the Pew Research Center reports that 79% of Americans have made a purchase online, and 15% purchase something online on a weekly basis.

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