This year has been pretty brutal for many national retail chains. Bed, Bath & Beyond, Tuesday Morning and Christmas Tree Shop closed up all of their locations amid bankruptcy, while Sears, Pizza Hut, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens and Boston Market have been shuttering many stores due to financial woes. They aren't alone either, Bath & Body Works, a staple at shopping malls, plans to close 50 stores by the end of the year.
Much like the other chains that have decided to close stores, it is a financial decision for Bath & Body Works, who saw profits drop last year. During an earnings conference call, the company explained that they have hired a team of "external advisors to assist in a top to bottom review of the business" and that team has advised the company on how to cut costs by $200 million this year and next year. The closures will help with that, but the chain is also changing their priorities. CEO Gina Boswell explained, "While we're focused in the near term on optimizing the core business, we'll continue to explore longer term opportunities, such as adding new adjacent categories," like products for men.
As for the closures, the company is rethinking their real estate footprint and while they do plan on shuttering mall stores, they also intend to open around 90 "new off-mall stores" as well as to remodel 25 White Barn Candle Company stores - the sister brand to Bath & Body Works. In the end, even after the closures, the company will actually grow its total square footage by 4%.
No word yet on which of the company's 1,800 or so locations will be affected.