Target Stores Closing, Employees Informed of Layoffs
America’s retail woes are continuing this year as one retailer after another announces store closures. Target Corporation is the latest company to announce retail store closures and job cuts in the midst of the ongoing retail apocalypse.
The Minnesota-based Target is closing 12 stores across the country by February 2018, when its current fiscal year ends. All of the stores being closed were underperforming. The Target stores closing include two in Minnesota, two in Illinois, two in Michigan, and one each in Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Kansas, Georgia and Maryland. Target has informed the employees at the 12 stores that they will be losing their jobs following the closures.
The news of Target stores closing has left some Americans devastated; in Hutchinson, Kansas a few people even plan to hold a candlelight vigil on the eve of the store’s shutdown.
The retailer has been closing stores for a while. The company closed five stores in its last fiscal year and an additional 13 stores were closed in the year prior to that.
Target Stores Closing After Thousands of Retail Store Closures in 2017
The announcement of more Target stores closing doesn’t come as a surprise. America’s retail industry is undergoing unprecedented change. Online retail has emerged as a significant threat to the survival of brick-and-mortar stores, which had triumphed in the traditional retail business for decades.
Thousands of stores have already closed this year, making 2017 the worst year on record for retail store closures in the United States. Analysts at Credit Suisse predict that the number of retail store closures this year will surpass the total seen during the peak of the Great Recession.
Brick-and-mortar stores are losing sales as digital retailers, predominantly Amazon.com, Inc., claw away at their market share. Physical stores are seeing a substantial decline in foot traffic, whereby sales are falling short of the bare minimum needed to break even. Consequently, retailers are no longer finding it viable to keep operating these stores.
Target has likewise cited declining profit numbers as the reason for its store closures. “We have a really rigorous process in place in evaluating the performance of a store in deciding when to close or relocate a store,” said Kristy Welker, a company spokesperson. “We close a store after seeing several years of decreasing profitability.”
“Target is closing 12 stores, including Hastings and Fergus Falls,” Star Tribune, November 7, 2017.