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NY's First Store Closures of 2015

We're two weeks into 2015, and already some retail chains are shuttering. But before you panic, ICSC's Jesse Tron reminds us that this is all just part of the circle of retail life. (We've asked Elton John to write a song about that. He hasn't responded by press any of our letters....ever.)

Since 2010, roughly 44% of store closings happen in Q1, Jesse tells us. After the holiday season, stores weed out the underperformers. (Everything we know about retail, we learned in The Hunger Games.) Before the economy sank, they would hold on a little longer, he says, but now there’s no time to lose. And since Q1 isn’t over yet, expect more closings. Meantime, here are some store closings affecting New York businesses in 2015.

Large Chains

Macy’s is shuttering 14 stores this spring, including two New York locations in Dewitt, NY, and Schenectady, NY. The closings will affect 192 jobs in New York and 1,300 jobs total. Macy’s plans to put more energy into online sales and expanding its same-day delivery service.

JC Penney is closing 39 of its 1,060 stores, including one in Kingston, NY. However, Fortune reports this might not be a bad sign, partly because JC Penney is located in some pretty bad malls. That probably won’t make employees feel better, as about 2,250 jobs will be affected.

Last month Sears announced it’d be closing 235 Sears and Kmart stores. That’s almost double the initial 130 estimate this fall.

Walmart is only losing one store: a bi-level discount store in Massapequa, NY. But what’s important is why: They’re trading out discount stores in favor of supercenters that can accommodate a wider selection of food, including fresh and organic options, along with their other merchandise.

Teen Retail

Teen retail has really taken a hit, not just because of the economy but also because consumer behavior is changing. (As always, teen retail insists adult retail just doesn't understand.) Millennials are buying electronics instead of clothes, and brick-and-mortar businesses can’t compete with the convenience of online shopping. Each of the Big A’s are affected—Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale and American Eagle Outfitters.

Abercrombie & Fitch, founded in NYC, will lose 60 stores by February. Aeropostale, which is HQ'd in NYC, already shut down 75 stores over the holidays. Expect 50 to 75 more to follow. Meanwhile, American Eagle is expected to lose 150 stores over three years. And most famously, Wet Seal reportedly blindsided nearly 3,700 employees by closing down 338 stores after the holiday season. (No word yet on whether any New York stores are among the affected.)

Trendy New Business

Alas, even the boldly colored and the preppy are not immune. C. Wonder, a clothing and housewares chain founded in SoHo by Tory Burch’s ex-husband Christopher Burch, is closing all 11 US stores, citing a competitive retail market.