In 2017, nearly 9,000 U.S. retailers closed and it is now estimated that another 12,000 store locations might be closing in 2018. The fact is, with the internet making shopping simple and effortless, consumers aren’t encouraged to go shop at these stores that once attracted millions of customers on a yearly basis. So, what stores are facing massive closures and what companies are considering bankruptcy? We share that information with you below.


  1. Sears


Sears has been around for years and was one of the main department stores connected to malls. But, with the way the market is transitioning, Sears is struggling to stay afloat. It has already closed more than a quarter of its stores in the span of a year and Modern Cities highlighted that it may have already begun liquidation sales with 39 more stores expected to close.  And “while closing stores help cut costs, it doesn’t address the company’s real problem, which is that customers are abandoning it.” As much as the company would like to continue on, Sears Holdings may be looking toward bankruptcy as their way out from the debt that is likely accruing.


  1. Barnes and Noble


Border’s, which was once a competitor of Barnes and Noble, liquidated and closed 399 stores. In doing so, 10,700 employees were laid off. Now, Barnes and Noble might be facing the issue Border’s did back in 2011, a lack of consumer demand. With eBooks made available at a consumer’s fingertips, they are no longer going to the bookstore to purchase an item that is simply doing to take up shelf space once they are done reading it. The truth is, virtual books are convenient and don’t require any space, physical space that is, and if business doesn’t improve for the company in 2018, they might be headed down a dark path. It’s scary to consider this but if Barnes and Noble doesn’t survive, not only will 26,000 people lose their jobs, but “the publishing business as we know it could be severely challenged.”


  1. Stein Mart


Although this discount apparel chain isn’t one of the most popular stores today, it has been around for a long period of time. It was founded in 1902 and based in Jacksonville, FL with 293 stores spread out across the U.S. But, just like the other struggling retailers, Stein Mart began to see a decline in sales and in October 2017, the “company laid off 10% of its workforce at its corporate office and suspended its quarterly dividends in hopes of saving $10 million from the cost-reduction initiative.” Sadly, Stein Mart might need to consider filing for bankruptcy like the other companies if it doesn’t want the debt to carry them down with it.

If you would like to view a list of the remaining retailers that may not survive in 2018, visit


While there are still individuals who remain loyal to these dying retailers, the reality is that they may be required to soon file for bankruptcy as this might be the only option that will allow them to walk away from the heap of debt they won’t ever be able to pay back. Because consumers are now turning to the online industry for all their needs, even groceries, it is likely things will continue to go downhill for many of these struggling companies.

If you own a company that is struggling and you have accrued a significant amount of debt, you may want to speak with a Jacksonville bankruptcy lawyer as they can determine if you qualify for bankruptcy. While bankruptcy has carried a negative connotation with it, there are many pros that come along with it, especially when you are drowning in debt and don’t know which way to turn. If you need help locating a lawyer in Jacksonville who specializes in bankruptcy law, contact today.