Retailers closing hundreds of Canadian locations in 2020

The Canadian retail sector was already in trouble before COVID-19, but the pandemic has left it on even shakier ground.

The combination of forced closures, decreased consumer spending and limited rent relief measures has left some retailers unable to maintain their existing operations.

Here is a look at some of the major retail closures announced in Canada in 2020, both before and during the pandemic.

The Children’s Place: Approximately 200 locations of child clothing store The Children’s Place will close this year and 100 more next year in Canada and the U.S., company executives said June 11 on an earnings call.

Starbucks: Filings with U.S. regulators dated June 10 show that Starbucks plans to close 200 Canadian locations as part of a new two-year business plan.

Sail: Outdoor retailer Sail said June 4 that it will close four stores in Quebec and two in Ontario, leaving it with a total of 12 outlets remaining open in the two provinces.

Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle: Financial woes at Reitmans left the company seeking creditor protection and announcing plans to close all stores under its Thyme Maternity and Addition Elle banners, as was announced June 1.

Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works: L Brands announced May 20 that it will close 13 of the 38 Victoria’s Secret stores in Canada, as well as one Bath & Body Works location, as part of a larger restructuring that also affects the company’s American operations.

Aldo: Montreal-based The Aldo Group said May 7 that it was entering creditor protection. Although the footwear retailer said it will gradually reopen its stores as public health guidelines permit, legal filings reportedly state that an unspecified number of stores are not expected to ever reopen.

Pier 1:  Home decor chain Pier 1 announced Feb. 17 that it will close all of its stores in Canada, as the retailer began bankruptcy proceedings in the United States.

Carlton Cards and Papyrus: On Jan. 22, the owner of greeting card retailers including Carlton Cards and Papyrus announced it was closing all of its stores in North America, including 76 Canadian locations.

Bench: The owner of apparel store Bench’s Canadian operations confirmed to BNN Bloomberg on Jan. 22 that all 24 locations will be closed.

Ten Thousand Villages: On Jan. 21, fair-trade retailer Ten Thousand Villages announced its plans to shutter many of its stores.

Bose: U.S.-based audio equipment retailer Bose will shutter its 24 remaining Canadian stores as part of the chain’s closure of 119 locations around the world, according to online publication Retail Insider reported in early January.

Things Engraved: On Jan. 14, the head of Kitchener, Ont.-based retailer Things Engraved announced plans to shut all of its 73 stores. CEO Shawn Black told CTVNews.ca the company had been unprofitable for several years.

Links of London: Luxury brand Links of London had planned a major Canadian expansion as recently as 2016, but only ever opened five stores in the country and announced Jan. 10 that all stores will be closed, according to Retail Insider.


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