U.S. Retailer Shuts 250 Stores to Move Online

New York: Women’s apparel chain The Limited has closed all 250 stores and has moved all sales to its online platform, reflecting an increasingly challenging environment for bricks-and-mortar retailers, reports Rapaport.

“We’re sad to say that all The Limited stores nationwide have officially closed their doors,” the company, which counts jewellery among its products, said in a notice to customers on its website. “But this isn’t goodbye. The styles you love are still available online – we’re just a quick click away, 24 hours a day.”

The move follows mixed holiday sales across the retail industry, characterized by declines at physical stores but a jump in online shopping. National department-store chain Macy’s, whose comparable sales dipped 2.1 percent in November and December, said it will close 68 stores, laying off 10,100 staff.

Private-equity owner Sun Capital Partners is writing down The Limited’s remaining equity value to zero, Reuters reported. Even so, the buyout firm has made 1.8 times its $50 million investment in Limited Stores thanks to prior distributions and dividends, the report said, citing an email to Sun Capital’s investors. The group first took a majority stake in Limited Stores in 2007 and bought the rest of the business in 2010.

“We have worked very hard and made significant investments over nine years in operations to create a sustainable business at The Limited,” Reuters cited a Sun Capital statement as saying. “In an increasingly challenging environment for mall-based retail and women’s apparel, we are very disappointed that the company has had to make the difficult decision to close its retail locations.”

Sun Capital declined to comment further when contacted by Rapaport News.