The pandemic’s arrival was the beginning of the end for most businesses. While mom-and-pop stores might be the thing that most people would think of when it comes to struggling or foreclosed businesses during this trying time, major retail chains are facing the same issue.
Let’s have a moment of silence for the following brands that are closing down, or have closed down, their physical stores (in certain countries) and will have to focus their effort on promoting only online instead.

La Senza

(Photo source: www.bargainmoose.ca | retail-insight-network.com)
It hasn’t been that long since Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands sold La Senza but earlier this year, there were already reports that the lingerie brand was in financial trouble. On the verge of bankruptcy even before the pandemic hit, the brand has been closing its stores in Canada one by one.

Victoria’s Secret

(Photo source: Victoria’s Secret | Queensland Times)
Victoria’s Secret isn’t faring any better. In May, it was reported that 250 of its stores in the US and Canada were to be permanently shuttered. A month later, its flagship store in Hong Kong was also abruptly closed down. No word yet on whether any of its other Asian branches will suffer the same fate.


(Photo source: https://www.pymnts.com/)
By 2021, the owner of fashion brand Zara, Inditex (which also owns other brands like Pull & Bear and Bershka), will be closing up to 1200 of its physical stores worldwide. The Spanish company stated that it would be focusing on pushing its online business instead.


(Photo source: Business Today)
Inditex’s major rival H&M is also on rocky grounds. Similarly, the Swedish clothing-retail company is planning on bolstering its online business by refocusing their effort for it and closing down as many as 170 stores across the globe.


(Photo source: https://insideretail.asia)
Another apparel brand hit hard by the pandemic is Esprit. Despite its long run of success in Asia, it’s been facing tough times as revenues started dropping last year. Following the loss during the pandemic, 56 stores in Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong were closed down. Its remaining Asian branches are only the ones in Mainland China.


(Photo source: The Jakarta Post | Shutterstock/File)
Just last month, Japanese retailer Muji had to file for bankruptcy in the US. This does not mean that it’s completely gone out of business there, however, as it will be reinforcing its online store instead. Fortunately for the Singapore and Malaysia markets, the US bankruptcy will not affect the physical stores in these countries.


(Photo source: today.com | Getty Images)
About a year before the pandemic hit, this US fashion brand (which also operates other brands like Banana Republic and Old Navy) already had plans to gradually close down most of its stores over a period of two years. The pandemic no doubt accelerated that, having caused it to lose nearly USD1 bllion.


(Photo source: ashley-yeen.com)
Another American clothing brand Guess will also be closing a substantial number of its physical stores. It was reported in June that a total of 100 stores in North American as well as China will be gradually closed within a period of 18 months.


(Photo source: https://bellevuecollection.com)
Back in May, footwear retailer Aldo seeks creditor protection in the US, Canada and Europe to save its business. There are no update yet on the number of stores that will be closed down due to this, but at the moment, its Asian outlets do not seem to be affected.


(Photo source: Linda Nylind | The Guardian)
Back in April, it was reported that Oasis and Warehouse Limited was unable to save its business, and all its stores under the brands Oasis and Warehouse were to be closed permanently. It had been operating 90 standalone branches in the UK and its products had also been available in 400 department stores. In June, its online businesses were bought by online fashion retailer Boohoo.
(Photo source: USA Today | Getty Images)