J.C. Penney to Close These Three Philly Area Locations

Image via Flickr.

Image via Flickr.

J.C. Penney on Friday unveiled a list of the 138 department stores nationwide that it will shutter in the next few months, and three Philadelphia area locations made the list.

J.C. Penney store locations at the King of Prussia Mall, the Philadelphia Mills Mall, and at Willow Grove Park will all be shut down possibly as soon as June, the company said. Most affected stores will begin liquidation sales on April 17th.

The J.C. Penney location at Rio Grande Plaza in Rio Grande New Jersey, off of the Garden State Parkway near Wildwood, also wasn’t spared. Read more »

So, Wait, Does Urban Outfitters Really Not Have an HR Department?

urban outfitters taking over KOP

Last week, we told you about a controversial flex-time policy change at Urban Outfitters that had outraged some of the parents who worked there. The one part of the story that had us the most perplexed was this: The employees we spoke with all claimed that Urban Outfitters does not have a human resources department for them to go to with their complaints. Read more »

Urban Outfitters Says Retail Landscape Is Oversaturated

urban outfitters taking over KOPAfter reporting lower-than-estimated fourth quarter earnings, Urban Outfitters shares dropped more than eight percent on Wednesday and CEO Richard Hayne says the dire state of the retail landscape is to blame.

On this week’s earnings call, Hayne said the U.S. market is oversaturated with retail stores and too much of the space is taken up by stores selling apparel.

“Our industry, not unlike the housing industry, saw too much square footage capacity added in the ‘90s and early 2000s. Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble. And like housing, that bubble has now burst,” he said. Read more »

American Apparel to Close All Stores Following Bankruptcy Auction

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The tale of one of the country’s most scandal-ridden companies is finally coming to an end. Clothier American Apparel, which has touted a “made in the USA, sweatshop free” ethos for the last 20 years or so, recently announced that it will shut down all 110 of its stores.

After filing for bankruptcy twice since 2015, the company — once considered an American manufacturing success story — sold its brand for $88 million in a bankruptcy auction last week to Canada’s Gildan Activewear, which manufactures branded basics like T-shirts, socks, and underwear.

Though the company hasn’t announced exactly when the stores will close, store representatives at four Philadelphia regional locations — Center City, King of Prussia, University City, and Cherry Hill — speculated that the stores will shut down sometime between February and April, though they had not yet been briefed internally about layoffs or store closings. Read more »

Sears, The Limited Closing Local Stores

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Last week, we said Macy’s wasn’t alone in its retail slump, and it wasn’t long before other retailers came forward to announce store closings of their own. Sears and K-Mart announced major closures at the end of the week, and on Sunday, women’s apparel chain The Limited began closing all 250 of its stores nationwide.

Across the state, six K-Mart locations will be shut down by April, including one in Lancaster. Atlantic City’s Pleasantville location is also on the list, in addition to three other New Jersey stores. Four Sears locations from Camp Hill to Uniontown will be shuttered, including one at Shenango Valley Mall outside of Pittsburgh, where a Macy’s store is also set to close. Sears Holdings, which owns K-Mart, announced its first wave of store closures back in the spring of 2016. The latest announcement brings the total number of closures scheduled for early 2017 to 150. View the full list here.

Read more »

Four Philly-Area Macy’s to Close in Early Spring

Macys

It’s official: Four regional Macy’s stores will shut their doors for good this spring. On the chopping block are the stores at Plymouth Meeting Mall, Moorestown Mall, Bensalem’s Neshaminy Mall, and Voorhees Town Center. A total of 347 employees will lose their jobs.

The chain reported poor sales this season as consumers opted to shop on their smartphones and tablets. For November and December, the retail giant’s sales fell about 2 percent on a comparable store basis from 2015. Retailers like Amazon, with its Prime delivery and expansive warehouses, continue to eat away at Macy’s market share.

“We are closing down locations that are unproductive or are no longer robust shopping destinations due to changes in the local retail shopping landscape, as well as monetizing locations with highly valued real estate,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in a release. Read more »

The Creepy Science Behind Why You Love Target So Much

why you love target

The mind games are real, people. | iStock/Kasahasa.

It’s no secret Target has our hearts — with those colorful housewares, punchy desk supplies and racks of bathing suits priced oh-so-perfectly, how can we resist? Center City certainly can’t, with people nearly lining the block in anticipation of Target’s new location opening this summer. Target is what my mom calls a ‘$100 store,’ meaning you can’t just pop in for one thing — you’re definitely dropping at least a Benjamin while you’re there, even when you have no intention of doing so.

But why is it that Target has such a hold on us (and our wallets)? Is it the mascot dog with the cute bullseye? The mini sale section in the front? That deliciously sinful, buttery popcorn? We sought out local experts — retail analysts, psychologists, professors at some of the top fashion programs in the world — to help us crack the code, revealing the science behind why you love Target so much. Their answers were insightful, surprising, and, well, downright creepy.  Read more »

Three New Stores Announced for KOP Expansion

King of Prussia rendering

A rendering of the new King of Prussia mall addition.

The King of Prussia Mall expansion continues on schedule, and the mall addition that will (finally!) connect the Plaza and the Court is starting to take shape. Today, mall owner Simon Property Group announced three new stores that are coming to the King of Prussia Mall sometime in late summer.

Headlining that list is Superdry, the U.K.-based outfitter that combines American-style fashion with nonsense Japanese script (really, it’s all gibberish) plastered on its outerwear. Read more »

Wawa Is Planning Even More Center City Expansion

Wawa - 19th and Market - rendering

Rendering courtesy Wawa

Reversing an old trend, Wawa is making a big push into Center City.

Today is Wawa Day, celebrating the anniversary of the first Wawa convenience store’s opening on April 16th, 1964, in Folsom. Free cups of coffee are given to patrons chain-wide. As such, a line of corporate heads — as well as Mayor Jim Kenney and sports media personality Howard Eskin — were on hand at the Wawa flagship store at Broad and Walnut to pour the ceremonial “first cup of free coffee” and make some major announcements. Read more »

How I Chose the 50 Best Shops in Philadelphia

Scouting Shops

A peek at some of my research.

I’ve been covering the Philly shopping scene for over six years now. I consider many of the city’s shop owners to be a particular sort of friend — we don’t chat on the phone or hang at each other’s houses, but I’ve worked with them for so long I’ve grown to love them. And I adore pretty much all of the boutiques that make up our indie shopping scene. You can imagine, then, that picking my 50 favorites was akin to naming a favorite child: How could I possibly choose?  Read more »

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