And another bites the dust.
Women’s apparel chain The Limited on Sunday began closing all 250 of its stores across the United States and is slashing 4,000 jobs, the latest casualty of shopping’s move online and the growth of fast fashion chains.
And just like Chico’s, Ann Taylor and other women’s apparel stores struggling with big drops in sales, The Limited has been struggling with shifts in consumer behavior and interest, a greater number of rivals and longer store leases.
“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,” the company’s private equity, Sun Capital said in a statement.
A message on The Limited’s web site said the retailer would continue to sell items online. But it’s not clear how much longer that will last: in December, Bloomberg News reported the company was likely headed for liquidation, and on Friday, Sun Capital said it was writing down the remaining equity value of Limited Stores to zero. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Once a major retailer known for small 2,000 square foot stores selling a limited assortment women’s clothing, Limited Stores, founded in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio, fell on hard times in the last decade. The chain was spun off from Victoria’s Secret parent L Brands (LB)in 2007 in a leveraged buyout by Sun Capital. In 2010, L Brands, known as Limited Brands until 2013, sold its remaining 25% stake to Sun Capital for roughly $32 million.
And its disappearance will likely add pressure to mall operators like Simon Property Group (SPG) and General Growth Properties (GGP), which are grappling with the bankruptcy in the last two years of mall stalwarts like Aéropostale, Pacific Sun, American Apparel and Wet Seal.