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Posted on Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 3:05 p.m.

Report: 8 retailers that will close the most stores in 2013

By Lizzy Alfs

With the holiday season behind us, retailers across the country are analyzing their annual sales figures and determining what’s in the pipeline for 2013.

For some businesses, that could mean adding locations or expanding overseas. But for others, downsizing could be the best — or only — way to survive in the competitive retail world.


The Barnes & Noble CEO recently announced plans to shutter about a third of its stores in the next decade.

File photo |

Ann Arbor mourned the loss of Borders when the bookstore chain announced its liquidation plans in 2011. Since then, the region’s retail scene has been changing as stores fill former Borders spaces and new developments present opportunity.

The opening of Arbor Hills Crossing in August is expected to bring about two dozen stores and restaurants to the Washtenaw Avenue corridor. Meanwhile, the former flagship Borders downtown is being separated into five or six retail spaces.

Larger chains like Pier 1 Imports and Nordstrom Rack have plans to open in Ann Arbor this year, while Briarwood Mall has announced several store closings and some high-end store openings.

Still, a report released last month by 24/7 Wall St. shows there could be trouble ahead for some chains with Ann Arbor area stores. The forecast analyzed the financial health and viability of already-weak U.S. retailers and named eight that will need to cut stores this year to achieve profitability. It also forecasts how many stores each retailer needs to close, although the closings could take several years.

The retailers that will close the most stores include:

  • Best Buy: 200 to 250 closings
  • Barnes & Noble: 190 to 240 closings
  • Sears/Kmart: Sears 100 to 125 closings, Kmart 175 to 225 closings
  • JCPenney: 300 to 350 closings
  • Office Depot: 125 to 150 closings
  • Gamestop: 500 to 600 closings
  • OfficeMax: 150 to 175 closings
  • RadioShack: 450 to 550 closings

Read more about the financial health of these retailers in the full report.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

I will miss Kmart on Washtenaw if they close. We get our scripts filled there (great pharmacy!) and I love that they (all Kmarts) are in a deal with Speedway where you can earn money off your gas every time you make a purchase of $50.00 or more (accumulative!). Each coupon is up to 60 cents off per gallon, and they let you use up to 3 of them at the same time! They also run good sales and their clothes are better quality than Walmart's. I'd go to Kmart any day over Walmart.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

I would have thought affordable Kmart would have less stores close than higher priced Sears...


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 11:35 p.m.

Sears is somewhat less depressing than K-Mart... also has some good appliances and tools... K-Mart should pass-out Prozac at the front door.

Eg Eg

Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 1:17 a.m.

Goodbye Barnes and're next !!!!! Bet your CEO wishes he hadn't been so smug when Borders CEO met with him right before Borders closed.

Tom Joad

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

If consumer spending is the lifeblood of the economy most Americans didn't get the memo. All these specialty stores are a dying vestige of a cheap oil, easy credit America which is diminishing all around us as job insecurity and increasing cost-of-living stress American consumers almost to the point of practicing austerity. Only those businesses that supply the essentials have a future. The mania of profligate consumption only worked in the 90s and early 2000s. It's a new paradigm.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.,2190/


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

I am not surprised with Sears and K Mart. Kresge closed it last door over 25 years ago. Since then K Mart and Sears have struggled. JCP is another that has also struggled since the 90's. Great stores just said to see them all go. I am still surprised Briarwood continues to hang with stores that for some? Are way too expensive for me. As for these predictions? Not surprised since most of this stuff can be found on line. Good luck to the big box stores. Curious to know what new stores Briarwood is getting.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

I figured out one day I hadn't been to Briarwood in probably 5 years. I've only been in the Target store in Oak Valley twice, and some of those stores never. I do a lot of catalog buying - like that I can have things gift wrapped and mailed to folks,, and it saves gas. Radio Shack will always be dear to my heart. The "Young Electrician" kit we bought our eight year old son set him on a course that eventually led to a Masters degree in electrical engineering. You never know.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

I honestly can't believe that RadioShack is still in business. Who goes there...and for what?


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

What I find funny is the fact that Radio Shack has developed to the modern consumer. I remember buying parts for a dial up phone and some device for a radio. Now? It is all electronics and phones.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:58 a.m.

keep going to wal-mart...some of the rudest people around.. people keep buying this chinese crap instead of getting something made in the usa , then they cry when they lose they're job, save a dollar screw yourself in the end :)


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

Never had a problem with Wal Mart. Although Meijer surprised me last week by almost competing with them price wise. Still I can't get some things at Meijer that I know Wal Mart has.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.

Frankly I surprised there are still so many big department stores. I can't remember the last time I was in a sears or jc penny. What do they offer that would bring me into a store that I can't get on line? I do a vast majority of my shopping on line, or in specialty stores. Not in big department stores. IMO those are a thing of the past and won't survive much longer.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

I like to go to brick and mortars and try things on before I purchase them. Online is convenient, but there is no substitution for being able to see and touch what you want before you pull the trigger. Clothing and shoes I'm that way, most other things I agree with you

music to my ear

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:05 a.m.

that is a lot of lost jobs is the first thing that comes to my mind.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

Radio Shack is still invaluable for parts, and is a place for young kids to buy arduinos and stuff.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 7:07 p.m.

When they ask me for my number I say "i don't have a phone" "and no I don't want one" And that's the end of that


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:31 p.m.

Radio Shack has never had the parts I need. It always seems to be a hodgepodge of stock that hasn't moved in 10 years.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:49 a.m.

Radio Shack, where it always seems to come back to "what's you phone number? We need to know." Just tell'em cell phones rot your brain, and you're still on a landline. And not any of that touchtone garbage - rotary.

Richard Carter

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:39 a.m.

Except they're going down the try-to-sell-you-cell-service with even a small transaction (I was in Briarwood buying a Firewire cable last week and got the "so, what cell provider are you with?")


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

The only one of those stores I have even been in, for years, is K-Mart, where I got 50% off a new ice scraper for my car, while waiting for some Chinese take-out. Didn't have to worry about waiting in line, as there were almost no customers. A truly depressing store, in almost every sense of the word, but very convenient - someone should tear it down and put a Costco or a Target there.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 2:15 a.m.

Actually, I was referring to the K-Mart in Ann Arbor, on Maple, though I'm sure the one on Washtenaw (or anywhere else, for that matter) is probably just as bad. Generations of neglect and poor decisions by management have poisoned that whole chain, and now the same idiots are running Sears - too bad, really.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

We are talking about the one on Rawsonville Road. A nice super center.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

It's too close to the Target on Carpenter. And that Target doesn't seem to be doing all that well, at least compared to the Meijer next door.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

That actually could happen when they tear down that row of falling down homes across the way. Once that is cleaned up? Development is on the way. Otherwise, I use K Mart to find nice clothes at good price.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

Kmart on Washtenaw. Empty parking lot!

average joe

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

Went by there two saturdays before Christmas around mid-day, and there were maybe 20 cars in that big lot. I assume that some of these belonged to the employees. This place should have been busy that day.

Jack Gladney

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 10:03 p.m.

It's good t see s many store fronts closing nationwide. This will provide much needed space for the growing public sector. Thank goodness, that McRomney character didn't steal the White House like he wanted to.

Ann English

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

Bain Capital kept Staples alive. You don't see Staples on this list.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

Communist? I'm serious, are you a communist? I've never heard anyone say they were glad that stores were closing other than communists and fascists.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

I had wondered where someone would go if they actually want to see the image on a new TV rather than just trust online. Then I recently discovered this past year that a few of the local small electronic shops have TV's for the same or less price than Best Box. I then also discovered that I could find high end photography accessories much cheaper at a local camera store than Big Buy. I am not surprised that BB feels the need to close its stores that require much rent.

music to my ear

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

walley world is taking over


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

Minus the Ann Arbor references, I read this article on Yahoo about a week or a week and a half ago.

music to my ear

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:01 a.m.

so,so or ditto

Homeland Conspiracy

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.



Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

I would miss Best Buy & Barnes and Noble.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:39 p.m.

While Best Buy will close stores as their CEO announced, the A2 store is one of the best performing in the country thanks its affluent customer base, which includes new football and basketball recruits that can afford multiple large screen TVs for their off campus housing that's paid for by donors...


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:38 a.m.

Read an article couple years ago about service plans at stores like best buy and their former defunct competitor circuit city. They push the warranties because they generate a large portion of their profits from them. I'm sure they brain wash their employees to sell sell sell the service plan ad I'm sure they have incentives and quotas to do so. Too bad for them that they are heading the way of circuit city

Richard Carter

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:36 a.m.

I'll miss B&N. I already miss what Best Buy was... now they try to upsell you any way they can, or accost you and ask you about your cable or satellite service. Radio Shack is that way now too... I went in to buy one cable and the guy ringing me up tried to start asking me about my cell phone plan, so I'm not surprised they're on the list. Stores that start acting like telemarketing firms are probably circling the drain.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:19 a.m.

Best Buy has become a poor shopping experience. The prices are nothing exception and the help, if you can call it that, in the stores is poor. The focus of the "sales" staff is too much on the service agreements. I went with neighbors to purchase three laptop and rather than helping my neighbors to determine the best computers for their needs the sales person rambled on and on about needing the service agreement and setup services of the Geek Squad. We left Best Buy and went to another local retailer and purchased the three laptops, plus software and yes, service agreements. Lack of listening to the customer cost Best Buy a sale of nearly $3,000 that night.

Paula Gardner

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 8:50 p.m.

Ann Arbor has been fortunate to backfill its large store vacancies over the years - from Von Maur taking over the former Jacobsons in Briarwood to the more recent Circuit City/Borders vacancies. It makes me nervous to see so many of these stores filling prime locations in this area's retail centers. But like we saw in one of Lizzy's earlier stories today, many of these retailers set up stores very close to the Ann Arbor versions - like JC Penney, which opened at Green Oak Village Place but has long operated at Briarwood. Of this list, I would peg Kmart - either Ypsilanti Township or Maple Village in Ann Arbor - as the store closing least likely to surprise me (if it happens).

4 Fingers

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6 p.m.

Both those kmarts have long term leases, no doubt. I'd rather see the maple village one turned into a sears (their parent co.).


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 5:05 p.m.

The ypsi K-mart is great, becasue you can park close and usually get in and out with not much of a wait at the checkout line. Especially, when the garden center is open or the dude in electronics can ring you up.

Jessica Webster

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

The Ypsi Kmart has been in pretty bad shape for more than a few years. Floor tiles peeling up, low inventory, dingy appearance. I'm always surprised when I notice that it's still open.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 3:27 p.m.

There are typically fewer cars parked in front of the Ypsi KMart than across the parking lot by the bus stop. I am surprised it has lasted this long.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

Please remove OfficeMax from the list. They have friendly employees, best managed, best selection of office supplies and, especiallyl: State-of-the-Art computerized check-out registers.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

"State-of-the-Art computerized check-out registers." Really? Having computers at the checkout is hardly revolutionary or state-of-the-art. I honestly can't think of a single major store that does not use a computerized inventory and checkout system nowadays. I agree with GingerSpice, they are expensive, the customer service is poor, and the store by Target and the store at Arborland have both always been empty or nearly empty, whenever I have been in them.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

Clearly you've never worked there. They are overpriced and managed very poorly.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 8:35 p.m.

Wouldn't miss any of them. I guess a lot of other people feel this way too. I thought Sears was in trouble.


Thu, Feb 14, 2013 : 2:32 a.m.

Lowe's perhaps, or Home Depot... I think Big George's is pricey.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Big George's.

Ann English

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

Not sure which store to shop at for large home appliances if Sears closes.


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 8:30 p.m.

I would not be surprised to see more JCPenney stores close. The changes brought to the store by the new management have made it a far less desirable store to visit with limited merchandise and customer support.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 10 p.m.

I do hope that JCP will survive, unfortunately I do not believe it can survive the rebranding. Ron might have been good at Apple where you have a very loyal following, however, he has left JCP with little instock merchandise and limited customer service making it more enticing to simply shop online. Perhaps Sears will do better as the traditional JCP shoppers switch to Sears.


Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 6:39 p.m.

While JCPenney certainly is facing some problems right now, we do have to remember that they are in the middle of a massive rebranding. They're shifting their focus from middle-aged and older customers, to a younger and more vibrant clientele. As someone that is in their new target market, I like and welcome the changes that the stores have seen over the past year or two. The stores are no longer packed with seniors fighting cashiers over expired coupons and rambling on about AARP discounts, and that's a good thing if you ask me! It's just going to take some time for younger shoppers like myself, who have been turned off by the old JCPenney's attempts to attract the coupon clipping crowd, to realize the store isn't the boring, stuffy, and cheap feeling "DISCOUNT!!! DISCOUNT!!! DISCOUNT!!!" Mecca that it was only a few years back. Also, I think it's great that JCPenney has decided to stop running 25 different sale events every week. There's nothing that cheapens a store more than everything being labeled with "REDUCED," "CLEARANCE," "B.O.G.O.," etc. If I wanted to be accosted by cheap and sleazy sale signage every two seconds while shopping, I'd go buy my clothes at TJ Maxx, WalMart, Sears, or Kmart. For some reason though, most American consumers seem to be incapable of realizing that they are still saving money through everyday low prices. Marketing has convinced the majority of us that if something isn't labeled "DISCOUNTED" or "SUPER DEAL" it must be a horrible deal with an inflated price. I've found that many of the products at JCPenney are now actually less expensive than they ever were when plastered with sale and clearance signs/stickers. JCPenney was on the verge of dying out before the new management team took over anyways. If this rebranding effort ends up failing, well the inevitable only came sooner rather than later. I however have faith in Ron Jonson (the new CEO and former VP of Apple retail) a


Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 11:54 p.m.

I feel the prices used to be better. Penney's, when I was a elementary->high school student (1995-2003) was a place to get clothes that were cheap, but still looked good and were passable for nice events. Now it's just cheap ****. Nothing redeemable.

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Feb 12, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

Readers: What do you think about these predictions? Any retailers you would add/remove from the list?

Ann English

Wed, Feb 13, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

I heard about these store closing likelihoods last week on AM 1600, on a local conservative's show. I think Target was also on that list. When Up & Up is the only brand of something you buy, and only Target sells Up & Up brand solution, you tend to remember such potentially bad news.