Is E-Commerce Killing Brick-and-Mortar Retail?

If you work for any large retail chain, it is recommended that you talk to an employment lawyer so that you are prepared for and insulated from the risks of layoff, termination and/or transfer as much as possible.

In 2018, 5,800 stores closed nationwide. In 2019 more than 9,000 stores closed nationwide. This is a staggering increase, and according to some research analysts 2020 may be the grimmest year yet for chain stores and mainstay retailers. The major retailers who have announced plans to close stores in 2020 and beyond are:

  • AC Moore, closing all 145 of its stores
  • Bose, closing 119 stores, all of their North American stores, plus others in Europe, Japan and Australia
  • Pier 1 Imports, closing 450, or one-half of their stores; following 70 stores closed in 2019
  • Chicos, closing 250 stores through 2022
  • Gap, closing 230 stores, one-half in 2020
  • Sears – – the 130+ year old company, once the largest retailer in the country, and a key player as a tenant in the rise of shopping stores is dying a slow death – – is closing an additional 51 stores in 2020
  • Bed Bath and Beyond, closing up to 60 stores in 2020
  • Office Depot (also the owner of Office Max), closing up to 90 stores by 2021 and closed 55 stores in 2019. Its stock price dropped from a high of $44 a share to $2.50 a share in 2019
  • K Mart, closing 45 stores in 2020

All major chain stores and mainstay retailers are rethinking the entire idea of having brick-and-mortar locations – – deciding whether to downsize the stores they will retain, repurpose the use of and services provided in their stores, determining how to best accommodate their customers’ changing needs and shopping behaviors, or partner with existing large e-commerce websites. These trends predicted for 2020 and future years need to be taken seriously.


Faye Riva Cohen is the founder and managing attorney of The Law Office of Faye Riva Cohen, P.C. in Philadelphia. She represents residents of PA and NJ who are involved in employment-related disputes with their employers. She can be reached at 215-563-7776 or at