View Full Version : Caution with Christmas Shopping

11-14-2008, 09:40 PM
I received this in an email. Thought it worth sharing.

Beware of buying gift cards for ANY store this Christmas.

STORE CLOSINGS AND LAYOFFS If you have gift cards - use them!!

Ann Taylor closing 117 stores nationwide A company spokeswoman said the company hasn't revealed which stores will be shuttered. It will let the stores that will close this fiscal year know over the next month.

Eddie Bauer to close more stores Eddie Bauer has already closed 27 shops in the first quarter and plans to close up to two more outlet stores by the end of the year.

Cache closing stores Women's retailer Cache announced that it is closing 20 to 23 stores this year.

Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Catherines - closing 150 stores nationwide The owner of retailers Lane Bryant , Fashion Bug , Catherines Plus Sizes will close about 150 underperforming stores this year. The company hasn't provided a list of specific store closures and can't say when it will offer that info, spokeswoman Brooke Perry said today.

Talbots , J. Jill closing stores About a month ago, Talbots announced that it will be shuttering all 78 of its kids and men's stores. Now the company says it will close another 22 underperforming stores.. The 22 stores will be a mix of Talbots women's and J. Jill, another chain it owns. The closures will occur this fiscal year, according to a company press release.

Gap Inc. closing 85 stores In addition to its namesake chain, Gap also owns Old Navy and Banana Republic . The company said the closures - all planned for fiscal 2008 - will be weighted toward the Gap brand.

Foot Locker to close 140 stores In the company press release and during its conference call with analysts today, it did not specify where the future store closures all planned in fiscal 2008 will be. The company could not be immediately reached for comment.

Wickes Furniture is going out of business Wickes Furniture is going out of business and closing all of its stores, Wickes, a 37-year-old retailer that targets middle-income customers, filed for bankruptcy protection last month.

Levitz / BOMBAY - closed already The furniture retailer, which is going out of business. Levitz first announced it was going out of business and closing all 76 of its stores in December. The retailer dates back to 1910 when Richard Levitz opened his first furniture store in Lebanon , PA. In the 1960s, the warehouse/showroom concept brought Levitz to the forefront of the furniture industry. The local Levitz closures will follow the shutdown of Bombay.

Zales, Piercing Pagoda closing stores The owner of Zales and Piercing Pagoda previously said it plans to close 82 stores by July 31. Today, it announced that it is closing another 23 underperforming stores. The company said it's not providing a list of specific store closures. Of the 105 locations planned for closure, 50 are kiosks and 55 are stores.

Disney Store owner has the right to close 98 stores The Walt Disney Company announced it acquired about 220 Disney Store s from subsidiaries of The Children's Place Retail Stores. The exact number of stores acquired will depend on negotiations with landlords. Those subsidiaries of Children's Place filed for bankruptcy protection in late March. Walt Disney in the news release said it has also obtained the right to close about 98 Disney Stores in the U.S. The press release didn't list those stores.

Home Depot store closings Nearly 7+ months after its chief executive said there were no plans to cut the number of its core retail stores, The Home Depot Inc. announced Thursday that it is shuttering 15 of them amid a slumping U.S. economy and housing market. The move will affect 1,300 employees. It is the first time the world's largest home improvement store chain has ever closed a flagship store for performance reasons. Its shares rose almost 5 percent.

CompUSA (CLOSED) clarifies details on store closings Any extended warranties purchased for products through CompUSA will be honored by a third-party provider, Assurant Solutions. Gift cards, rain checks, and rebates purchased prior to December 12 can be redeemed at any time during the final sale. For those who have a gadget currently in for service with CompUSA, the repair will be completed and the gadget will be returned to owners. _http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9834177-7html_

Macy 's - 9 stores

Movie Gallery - 160 stores as part of reorganization plan to exit bankruptcy. The video rental company plans to close 400 of 3,500 Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video stores in addition to the 520 locations the video rental chain closed last fall.

Pacific Sunwear - 153 Demo stores

Pep Boys - 33 stores

Sprint Nextel - 125 retail locations New Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse appears to have inherited a company bleeding subscribers by the thousands, and will now officially be dropping the ax on 4,000 employees and 125 retail locations. Amid the loss of 639,000 postpaid customers in the fourth quarter, Sprint will be cutting a total of 6.7% of its work force (following the 5,000 layoffs last year) and 8% of company-owned brick-and-mortar stores, while remaining mute on other rumors that it will consolidate its headquarters in Kansas . Sprint Nextel shares are down $2.89, or nearly 25%, at the time of this writing.

Ethan Allen Interiors: The company announced plans to close 12 of 300+ stores in an effort to cut costs.

Wilsons the Leather Experts - 158 stores

Pacific Sunwear will close its 154 Demo stores after a review of strategic alternatives for the urban-apparel brand. Seventy-four underperforming Demo stores closed last May.

Sharper Image: The company recently filed for bankruptcy protection and announced that 90 of its 184 stores are closing. The retailer will still operate

94 stores to pay off debts, but 90 of these stores have performed poorly and also may close.

Bombay Company: The company unveiled plans to close all 384 U.S.-based Bombay Company stores. The company's online storefront has discontinued operations.

KB Toys posted a list of 356 stores that it is closing around the United States as part of its bankruptcy reorganization. To see the list of store closings, go to the KB Toys Information web site, and click on Press Information

Dillard's to Close More Stores Dillard's Inc. said it will continue to focus on closing underperforming stores, reducing expenses and improving its merchandise in 2008. At the company's annual shareholder meeting, CEO William Dillard II said the company will close another six underperforming stores this year.

Linen-N-Things is closing their stores. There is already a sale in Hickory, NC.

J. C. Penney, Lowe's and Office Depot are scaling back

add Kirklands, Circuit City and Pier 1 to the list.

11-15-2008, 08:14 AM
This is a good list to have, thank you. I nearly got caught up in a mess last Xmas when Sofa Express was closing. I bought some leather furniture but wasn't informed that they were closing and I bought my items on their last day of business. They didn't have a Going-Out-Of-Business Sale or anything. They packed up and left during the night. The store was totally empty the next morning. I went there the following day to look for some accessories and got the shock of seeing an empty store and, of course, called there immediately but the phone was disconnected, too. I called headquarters and she said "I don't know if you are aware but we filed bankruptcy." I said "Well, that's obvious since your store closed w/out a word to the public about it". To make matters worse, they tried to back out of delivery! So how was I supposed to get a sofa and two chairs to my house? I became really upset and the "customer service" person (yeah, right) told me "We don't have to refund your money or do anything for you, actually, because we filed bankruptcy". I said "Lovely. I really need that attitude right about now" and she just laughed. They did deliver my furniture finally but it was pretty hairy!

11-15-2008, 10:50 AM
It is a bad time in retail for sure. It's a shame really. I think it should re-enforce something that seems to be a GOOD trend now..BUY LOCAL!!! Support your local businesses. Especially small, privately owned ones. It's important! My thoughts go to those thousands facing unemployment. :(

11-15-2008, 11:42 AM
This is frightening! :eek: My goodness, I have never seen anything like what we are going through now. Thank you for posting this. I am going to e-mail your post to family/friends right now.

11-15-2008, 11:51 AM
I used to give out gift cards and then one year I wasn't in the Xmas mood and said screw it, I gave out an envelope with some cash, a note to say, "go out to dinner, but a treat for yourself, or ?????"

People had a good time and it was fun to see people starting to strategize on what to spend a few extra bonus bucks!

11-15-2008, 12:42 PM
I received an email like this about a year ago only it listed different stores. I checked it out on snopes.com. I have checked snopes again and here (http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/storeclosings.asp) is the link. They list it as partly true.

11-15-2008, 01:14 PM
Many of the major credit cards offer gift cards. The person can use it anywhere, and it may be "safer" than a store card at this time. American Express and Visa both offer gift cards.

11-15-2008, 01:22 PM
Many of the major credit cards offer gift cards. The person can use it anywhere, and it may be "safer" than a store card at this time. American Express and Visa both offer gift cards.

Unfortunately, Amex is now asking for a bailout.

11-16-2008, 05:30 PM
Good list - I usually give bookstore & restaurant cards, which seem to be ok at this point. The credit card co. gift cards are nice, but they do carry a fee that is deducted when the card if activated, so read the fine print. Our Linens & things closed a couple months ago, but they took all the really good stuff out of it before they started their going-out-of-business sale, darn it.

I just dropped my car off for service & was stunned to pull in & the front office is empty, all the signs are gone - I guess they are no longer a Subaru dealer ship. A small sign on the Service door said "We are NOT going out of business, we will gladly service your car, where ever you bought it." Well let's hope so! Funny the service manager never mentioned this when I scheduled it Friday.:rolleyes:

11-17-2008, 10:20 AM
This report is in our local newspaper today:


Gift cards have become one of the most popular holiday gifts.

In fact, shoppers spent an estimated $26.3 billion on gift cards at retailers last Christmas season, compared with $24.8 billion in 2006 and $18.5 billion in 2005, according to the National Retail Federation.

But be careful this year because already some big retailers, including Sharper Image and Bombay Co., have filed for bankruptcy protection, leaving gift card holders with millions of dollars of what the courts consider unsecured debt. Both chains have since closed.

Consumers Union said that when Sharper Image filed for bankruptcy protection this year, it left an estimated $20 million on unused gift cards and maybe as much as $40 million when merchandise certificates and related promotional cards were included. At first Sharper Image said it would not honor the credits. Later it successfully petitioned the court to allow it to accept gift cards if consumers spent twice the value of the gift card on a single transaction.

“That wasn’t such a good deal, and who knows if anybody used their cards that way,” said Anthony Giorgianni, associate editor of Consumer Reports, which is published by Consumers Union.

In August, home-furnishing retailer Bombay Co., which closed 388 stores, won approval from a U.S. bankruptcy judge to pay off gift card holders 25 cents on the dollar.

Gift card holders could lose more than $75 million just from store and restaurant closings this year, said Brian Riley, senior analyst at Tower Group, a consulting company.

“The only way that number will change is up,” Riley said.


11-17-2008, 10:42 AM
:eek: Very Good Point Sandie on No Gift Cards.. Great Thread.. Hey most people wouldnt even think of this in advance..

11-17-2008, 10:54 PM
I'm not ready for Christmas yet. I just left Catherine's because I need a black long-sleeved sweater for church. They already have the store decorated and Christmas music playing. I didn't find a solid black sweater, though :-(

I like Von Maur because they put their Christmas decorations up after the store closes on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Oh, how I miss Marshall Field's. Christmas is just not the same.