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Photo by Samantha Carlson.

Shoppers search for deals during Carson’s liquidation sales at Joliet

mall on May 3.


Following the announcement of the liquidation of Toys R Us stores around the country, Carson’s announced it will be closing its doors after 160 years in business.


The parent company, Bon- Ton Stores, did not find a buyer interested in keeping the company running, resulting in the filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company will close 22 Chicagoland stores, including those located in Joliet, Orland Park and Chicago Ridge.


Bon-Ton Stores own more than 200 department stores, in addition to Carson’s, operating under the names of Boston Store, Younkers and Elder-Beerman.


“Bon-Ton will conduct an orderly wind-down of its operations and is committed to minimizing the impact of this development on our associates, customers, vendors and the communities we serve,” read a statement on the Carson’s website.


Over 23,000 people across the country are expected to lose their jobs over the Car¬son’s liquidation, which must be completed by Aug. 31.


Toys R Us announced the closing of all their U.S. stores, which will result in over 33,000 people losing their jobs nationwide.


Toys R Us began the liquidation of their stores in late March, while Carson’s began their liquidation April 27.


“It is pretty incredible what we are seeing with the retail industry and how iconic brands we have grown up with like Toys R Us and newly announced Carson Prarie Scott closing their doors,” said Lewis marketing professor, Brie Brubaker. “Personally, it’s a bit disheartening to see so many stores shutting their doors and the loss of jobs in local communities.”


Since the takeoff of Amazon, large retailers and department stores have been struggling to keep up with the growing competition. Sears, another brick-and-mortar store, began liquidating locations in Joliet and Orland Park. The company is expected to close at least 100 of its stores nationwide by mid-July.


In addition to closing Sears, the Sears Holdings Corporation also closed multiple outlets of Kmart stores in early April. The remaining Kmart stores announced they will be accepting Toys R Us gift cards for cash exchanges.


“It all comes back to the customer and designing strategies that unlock new value potential and being able to recognize and adapt to changes in this dynamic market,” said Brubaker. “Change can be hard, especially when you are looking at long-established formulas that have brought success in the past. As the saying goes, if you aren’t looking to the future, you risk being left behind.”


Although Amazon has not become the top store as of yet, they are getting increasingly more powerful. With their lower prices and convenient shopping experiences for consumers, Amazon is rapidly making its way to the top.


In August 2017, Amazon bought out its first and only brick-and-mortar corporation, Whole Foods. The company

also made agreements with Kohl’s, allowing consumers to make Amazon returns at Kohl’s locations free of charge.


Consumers continue to increase the amount of online shopping, causing a decline in brick-and-mortar sales. Another once-popular store that filed for bankruptcy in March was Claire’s.


Blaming their bankruptcy

on the lack of mall traffic, the company announced the closure of 92 more stores in March and April. Over 160

Claire’s stores closed in 2016.


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