Women's Plus-Size Retailer Avenue to Reportedly Close All Stores
Avenue, a women's retailer specializing in plus-size apparel, is reportedly closing all of its stores across the U.S. in the coming weeks, according to Footwear News. Employees were notified during a conference call last Friday, and store associates were instructed not to accept returns or sell gift cards. Avenue's owner Versa Capital Management has not publicly confirmed any store closure plans. The New York Post reported earlier this month that Avenue warned employees it would shutter all 260 stores if it could not find a buyer within 60 days.
Total Retail's Take: The widespread downsizing of brick-and-mortar store footprints continues across the retail industry, due largely to either bankruptcy filings or restructuring. Traditional plus-sized retailers have been particularly hit hard as more competition enters the market as consumers’ expectations are pushing all retailers to expand sizing and offer more plus-sized apparel. Other plus-size specialty brands have faltered in recent months, including Fullbeauty Brands' bankruptcy filing and Ascena Retail Group's closure of all dressbarn stores, moving the brand to e-commerce only. This may be the same direction Avenue is headed, although plans to change to an e-commerce-only entity going forward have not been confirmed by Versa.