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Bath and Body Works is closing 50 stores in the United States, and 1 of its stores in Canada in 2020.
At first, I was shocked by this news, and THEN I found out that they are closing mostly locations inside malls. This makes a LOT more sense.
Malls used to be THE place to go. Not just to shop for everything under the sun, but as a place to congregate and hang out.
I have been guilty of spending hours with friends, simply walking the mall, grabbing a bite in the food court, and maybe doing some light shopping.
This isn’t the way society works anymore. Have you been to a shopping mall lately? What once were hustling, bustling malls, are now pretty much ghost-towns.
Of course, this decline has had MAJOR impact on the stores that are in these malls, which are now left hanging on by a thread. Stores have seen a rapid decline in numbers — both of people, and of sales.
Many retail establishments have gone to having locations in outdoor strip malls, or moving into locations that are in large, outdoor clusters of free-standing retail spaces.
Bath and Body Works is one of the retailers that has moved away from occupying new space inside the malls of America.
As this is the case, Bath and Body Works announced, as part of their First Quarter Earnings Presentation, that it will be closing 50 stores, largely located inside malls.
Is this due to the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the world? Probably partly.
Bath and Body Works had to temporarily close their physical locations in March, do to this worldwide quarantine. As a result, not shockingly, they lost revenue.
As a result, we are now seeing the closing of 50 Bath and Body Works physical locations. As of right now, the retailer has not confirmed exactly which Bath & Body Works stores will be closing in 2020 yet.
It is important to note, however, Bath and Body Works ONLINE sales have skyrocketed.
According to CNN’s Jordan Valinsky, “Despite the store closures, Bath & Body Works had a strong quarter. Its online sales grew 85% over last year — It expects its sanitizer products to grow into a $300 million business this year—up from $100 million last year.”
We do believe that that portion of the business especially will continue to grow rapidly as again sanitizer is now something that will likely be part of all of our daily routines for the months and years ahead.Andrew Meslow, L Brands CEO
That being said, you may want to go visit your local Bath and Body Works mall location — with your face mask on, of course — and see if they are one of the unlucky locations that are closing. It might be the last time you get to visit your favorite store.