14 major retailers announce closures this year

Another retailer has announced it is closing all its stores — the 14th to say it will do so in 2017. 

Bebe, a women's clothing retailer with 180 stores in the U.S. and Canada, said earlier in the year it would close a couple dozen and was working on a new strategy. But last week it said it will close every store by this May.

The news follows more than a dozen other announcements by major retailers. JCPenney said 138 stores will begin liquidating in May and close by the beginning of July. Appliance seller hhgregg is downsizing by 40 percent, leaving 132 stores in operation. And teen fashion retailer Rue21 will close 400 stores this year, it announced earlier in April.

Brick-and-mortar stores are having a tough time competing with online shopping. Many that have announced closures will focus on their internet sales strategies. The Washington Post reports Amazon.com has something to do with it — the online giant accounted for 53 percent of e-commerce sales growth last year.

Gallery: 14 companies have announced closures in 2017

Some restaurants have also announced closures this year. Bloomin' Brands, the parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, Carrabba's Grill, and Fleming's Steakhouse, announced in mid-February the company will shutter 43 of its 1,500 locations.

According to Bloomin' Brands, the 43 restaurants are considered "underperforming." The company said it will introduce delivery service at 115 of its restaurants this year.

The term "restaurant recession" is being used by media covering the industry. MarketWatch reported that rising rent costs, prescription prices and car loans have consumers spending more on cheap groceries to avoid eating out as much.

Investopedia.com reports the owner of Applebee's and IHOP restaurants is also having a difficult year, and it expects dozens of closures. While Applebee's plans to see 20 to 30 store openings outside of the U.S., it expects 40-60 closures. The news is better for IHOP — 75-90 will open, while an estimated 20 will close.

 
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