The Children's Place to Close 300 Stores

Around 200 stores are expected to be closed by the end of 2020, with an additional 100 slated to close in 2021

The Children's Place store
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Kids clothing retailer The Children's Place announced plans to close 300 stores by the end of 2021 as the company looks to reduce its brick-and-mortar footprint to focus on e-commerce.

The New Jersey-based company said in a news release it plans to close 200 stores in 2020, and another 100 in 2021 as part of its restructuring plans. The Children’s Place has 920 stores in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada.

It was not immediately clear which locations will be shuttered, but CEO Jane Elfer said most of the closures will be "mall-based."

"We believe that our strong digital foundation, coupled with the rapidly changing shopping patterns of our consumer, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our strong value proposition and our core, digital-savvy, millennial customer, will result in the continued acceleration of our digital revenue," said Elfers.

Elfers noted online sales are up 300% "while approximately 95% of our stores remain closed" due to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the company to suspend all store operations on March 18.

As of June 8, 2020, The Children’s Place had 61 stores open to the public in the U.S. and Canada and the company said it intends to continue to reopen stores on a phased timeline, as state and local guidelines and conditions permit. The company plans to have most of its stores open by July 1, Elfers said.

The Children's Place joins a growing list of retailers, including Zara and Signet Jewelers, that have recently announced store closures while stressing the rising importance of their online presence.

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