Sunday, May 18, 2008

Retail expansion slows, except for Steve & Barry's

Not surprisingly, given the slow economy, retailers are reacting by cutting back expansion plans or, in the cases where they have gone overboard with expansion in recent years, closing stores.

This article details some of the cutbacks:
  • Home Depot is closing 15 stores and reducing by 50 the number of new stores it will open
  • Foot Locker 140
  • Ann Taylor 117
  • Zales 100
  • Charming Shoppes 150
  • Wison's 158
Pacific Sunwear is shutting down an entire 153-store chain, Demo. In all, the International Council of Shopping Centers expects 5,750 stores to close this year, up 25% over 2007. Penneys, Kohls, and others are still expanding, but at reduced rates.

It isn't all gloom and doom, however. This item tells us that Steve & Barry's keeps expanding at a tremendous rate.
In a year when many specialty retailers are cutting back on openings and shuttering underperforming stores, cheap, fashionable Steve & Barry's is on an expansion roll.
The chain will open 70 stores this year, adding to its current 264 locations.

What's S&B's secret? Not a secret, really -- it's in the headline of the story: Cheap and chic fuels Steve & Barry.

It's no surprise that Foot Locker is closing 140 stores when Steve & Barry's is selling a decent pair of sneakers that appeals to the same demographic for ... get ready for this ... $8.98.

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