Retail Brands Might Not Die, but They Could Get Trapped in Purgatory

Companies expand and contract in and out of bankruptcy

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Some 20,000 U.S. stores closed in 2020, and investment bank UBS projected another 80,000 will shutter through 2026. It may sound like the retail apocalypse is finally upon us, but there’s one important detail: When a retailer closes up shop, it isn’t necessarily permanent.

In the past year, we’ve seen retailers like Century 21 and Lord & Taylor shut down only to announce plans to reopen months later. And in the case of Toys R Us, we’ve seen the brand shut down, reopen



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This story first appeared in the May 3, 2021, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.