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More National Chains Closing Stores In Wilmington

By Johanna Cano, posted Mar 7, 2019
More national retail chain stores have recently announced closures.

Charlotte Russe, which has a retail store at Independence Mall, will close its remaining 416 stores and conduct going-out-of-business sales, according to a Thursday news release by SB360, a liquidation company that purchased Charlotte Russe’s inventory and other assets after the store filed for bankruptcy.

The women’s clothing store had about 8,700 employees as of February with most of them working part-time. Officials plan on closing the stores in the next two months.

Crazy 8 is another clothing store chain with a location at Independence Mall that announced it was closing all its stores earlier this year.

The children’s clothing store, a brand under Gymboree, will close stores under its bankruptcy plan. The Children’s Place Inc. announced this week in a news release that it plans on purchasing Gymboree and Crazy 8 brand rights for $76 million.

Officials at Independence Mall have not been given any information from Charlotte Russe or Crazy 8 on the stores’ closures and are just working day-by-day, said Kelly Skidmore, a marketing official with Independence Mall.

Brookfield Properties, the mall’s owner, has plans to redevelop the mall into an indoor-outdoor shopping center called The Collection at Independence.

Redevelopment plans will hopefully start in the summer, Skidmore said.

Payless ShoeSource Inc. announced the closure of its about 2,300 U.S. stores in February, with its Latin American and international franchise stores continuing to operate as usual, according to the company’s letter to customers.

There is one Payless ShoeSource store in Wilmington at University Centre at 348 S. College Road.

“Unfortunately, we emerged from the prior reorganization ill-equipped to survive in today’s retail environment, with too much remaining debt, too large a store footprint and a yet-to-be-realized system and corporate overhead structure consolidation,” stated the letter.

Dollar Tree announced Wednesday will close 390 Family Dollar stores in 2019 and will rebrand 200 stores to Dollar Tree after its $2.3 billion loss in the last quarter of 2018, according to the company’s Fourth Quarter and 2018 Fiscal Year report.

The company has not announced which stores it will close out of its 8,236 Family Dollar stores.

There are eight Family Stores in Wilmington, two in Leland, one in Hampstead and one in Southport, according to Family Dollar's website.

Earlier this year, J.Crew and Eddie Bauer closed their locations at Mayfaire Town Center. Loft, a women's clothing store, will move into the location previously occupied by Eddie Bauer.

This year's retail closure announcements follow last year's closures of well-known retailers.

Toys R Us and Sears stores closed in Wilmington in 2018. The Sears building at Independence Mall was temporarily used by FEMA and the Small Business Administration for Hurricane Florence assistance and the Toys R Us building at 4510 Oleander Drive was temporarily a Halloween Store.
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