Georgia Jobs at Risk as Retail Stores Close: Dollar Express Taking the Lead
America’s retail sector is undergoing what industry experts are calling a “retail apocalypse.” The phenomenon has resulted in hundreds of store closures this year, resulting in thousands of layoffs.
Georgia has not been immune to this trend. Some of the biggest retailers have been closing stores and cutting jobs in the state. Georgia store closings this year have included big names like Wal-Mart Stores Inc (aka Walmart), Sears Holdings Corp, and Dollar Express Stores, LLC.
A cursory look at Georgia’s Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) listings is enough to get an idea of the sorry state of affairs in Georgia’s retail job market. Most of the layoff notices in 2017 have been filed by big retailers, which have collectively cut hundreds of jobs.
Big box retailers and department store giants like Macy’s Inc, J C Penney Company Inc (aka J.C. Penney), Walmart, and Sears have been closing stores in Georgia, altogether contributing to more than 600 retail sector job cuts.
Taking the lead in Georgia store closings has been Dollar Express, which has so far closed 14 stores at various locations in the state. Most of the Dollar Express closings have hit Atlanta and Decatur, where the discount store maintained a bigger presence.
Dollar Express began closing stores across the country as it got bought out by its bigger competitor, Dollar General Corp. After the acquisition, Dollar General announced that all 323 Dollar Express stores nationwide would close, causing almost 2,800 employees to lose their jobs. In Georgia, more than 120 jobs have been lost due to the closures of Dollar Express stores.
Walmart Closing Stores in Georgia; Branches in North Fulton Affected
Despite closing fewer stores than Dollar Express, retail giant Walmart has cut more jobs in Georgia than any other retailer this year. According to Walmart’s WARN filings, the company has closed three stores in the state this year, leading to more than 200 Georgia layoffs in 2017. Walmart closed two stores in Fulton County and one store in Cobb County.
Rival grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. also closed two stores in Georgia in 2017, after e-commerce giant Amazon.com, Inc. confirmed its plans to acquire the company. This resulted in more than 200 job losses.
Sears Holdings Closing Kmart and Sears Stores
Just like the big discount retailers and giant grocery chains, department store chains have been facing the effects of the retail apocalypse. Sears, Macy’s and J.C. Penney have also been closing stores in Georgia. According to their WARN filings, Macy’s and J.C. Penney each closed locations in Georgia this year, together contributing to almost 300 layoffs in the state.
Sears Holdings has announced plans to close nearly 10 stores in the state this year, including five Kmart stores and four Sears stores. Since Sears has not yet filed WARN notices regarding these closures, we don’t yet have official numbers for these job cuts. It could be close to 1,000 though.
Retail employees have been bearing the brunt of the battle between traditional brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers. It’s obvious that digital retailers—most notably Amazon—are winning this battle, as more retail companies close down store locations or go out of business altogether. This fight is not over just yet, which means that Georgia store closings may continue.
“WARN Website Data Listings,” Georgia Department of Economic Development, last accessed on October 12, 2017.
“90 Georgia jobs affected in nationwide closing of Dollar Express,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 8, 2017.
“Charlotte’s newest retailer is closing all 323 of its stores, filing says,” The Charlotte Observer, April 7, 2017.
“3 more Kmart, Sears stores closing in Georgia,” 11 Alive, June 8, 2017.