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As of January 7, The Limited had posted a message to its website stating all of its physical stores had closed permanently. The sudden mass closure is the most drastic sign yet of the struggles of brick-and-mortar retailers.
The Limited isn't the first retail store casualty, and it won't be the last. But it is certainly one of the only stores to close all if its locations, and so abruptly, while remaining as an online retailer. In the early months of last year, JCPenney closed a handful of stores. Months later, in August, Macy's announced that it'll be closing 100 of its stores as well, most of which will probably come this year. And of course it's widely known that Sears and Kmart closed several locations last year, and are planning to shutter even more during the next few months.
Although Victoria's Secret hasn't seen the same kind of store closings, it's also been somewhat of a victim of the retail crisis. It's started to limit its offerings as of last May, cutting much of its swim and clothing collection, and doing away with shoes. But its Pink and Sport lines still offer lounge, activewear, and accessories.
Recently, there had been reports that various Limited stores across the country would be closing. Shoppers near Indianapolis, Albany, N.Y., central Illinois, and in the Washington region were all prepared for their local stores to shutter. But for the other 246 stores, this might have been an unpleasant surprise.
However, the signs were all there, if you knew where to look. The Limited stores had an extremely generous discount of 80% off during the holidays, and weren't allowing any returns. This made it seem more like a going-out-of-business sale. Plus, in late November, The Limited filed a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act in Ohio, which tends to point to mass layoffs coming.
If you're a fan of the wear-to-work fashion The Limited is known for, you can still shop its collections. Even though all the stores have already closed, you can still shop the website, which will reportedly remain open for business.
However, adding Limited items to your wardrobe will come with a cost now. As of this writing, all sales are still final, despite the big holiday promotion being over. And currently if you're placing an order, the site states you should allow 10 business days for processing.
Readers, does this news surprise you? Will you continue to shop The Limited online? Let us know in the comments below.