Racine County Eye 2021 Local News Fund

With more and more people shopping online instead of in-person, the brick-and-mortar retail landscape continued its decline in Wisconsin in 2019, with several national chains announcing store closings.

Some, such as Kmart, are adding to a list of stores already slated for closure. Others, such as Bed Bath & Beyond, say they’re scaling back retail operations.

Several clothing retailers, including Forever 21 and Dressbarn, are among the stores that are closing or will soon close.

Here’s a look some of the national retailers that announced Wisconsin store closings in 2019:


Citing a weak retail environment and operational difficulties, the Kmart at 5141 Douglas Ave. will close its doors before the year is out. According to a mass-layoff notice filed by Transform KM LLC, the holding company that owns Kmart, announced that a total of 47 workers will be permanently laid off. READ MORE.

Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer, a longtime outdoor clothing store, closed in Southridge Mall, according to reports.
An article posted in the Milwaukee Biz Times says that Southridge Mall’s closing will leave one store at Mayfair Mall and outlet stores in Pleasant Prairie and Johnson Creek.

Bed Bath & Beyond
Struggling housewares retailer Bed Bath & Beyond will close about 40 stores this year in the U.S. while opening 15 “lab” stores offering more home decor and food products, the company announced. READ MORE.

Charlotte Russe

Only a month after filing for bankruptcy, the women’s clothing company Charlotte Russe, which has 5 stores in southeastern Wisconsin, has decided to shutter all of its stores. The company’s intellectual property and rights to its leases will be sold separately. READ MORE

Destination Maternity

The retail chain Destination Maternity plans to close 183 locations in the United States, including a handful in Wisconsin, as the maternity apparel store continues through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection case. READ MORE.

Forever 21

Forever 21 announced it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a letter to customers on Sept. 29. The teenage clothing store made it clear, though, it wasn’t going out of business, and instead filed for bankruptcy protection as a “deliberate and decisive step to put us on a successful track for the future,” according to the letter. READ MORE.

Holey Moley Doughnut Shop

Holey Moley Coffee and Doughnuts announced it was closing its doors at the Mayfair Collection, and AJ Bombers is expanding their space to take over the former doughnut shop. READ MORE.

House of Harley Davidson

The local House of Harley Davidson in Racine closed this year, merging with Milwaukee. Company officials said that the House of Harley-Davidson will continue servicing the police fleets from the City of Racine and Mount Pleasant, in addition to the police fleets from the Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, Wauwatosa Police, Franklin Police, Greendale Police, Walworth County Sheriffs, Wisconsin State Patrol, New Berlin Police, Jefferson County Sheriffs, Waukesha County Sheriffs, South Milwaukee Police and Brown Deer Police.

Payless ShoeSource

Payless ShoeSource closed all of its U.S. stores as part of a bankruptcy filing. READ MORE.


All Dressbarn stores will be closing by the end of the year, the company announced this summer. Some locations have already closed. “We have received overwhelming landlord support for our plan, which will allow us to implement our wind down in a manner that provides the best recovery for our landlords. Further, we are current, and expect to remain so, with our vendors and suppliers,” Steven Taylor, Dressbarn CFO, said in a statement over the summer. READ MORE.


The national pharmacy chain will be closing 200 stores in 2019, the company said in an August SEC filing.

Pier 1

A list of locations to close was not released by the company.

Additional Reporting by Kara Seymour, Patch Staff

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