The month of March was not exempt from seeing a series of retailers announce they are shuttering stores amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This month's announcements follow ones made in both January and February by retailers that closed a slew of brick-and-mortar locations as they reduced their physical footprint due to the impact of the COVID crisis as consumers shift their shopping habits.

With lockdowns forcing customers in their homes, many people looked to their computers to make purchases online. Reacting to the digital shopping switch, retailers are now closing stores as shopper foot traffic wanes by reducing their real estate and focusing their attention on their e-commerce presence.

Here are the retailers to announce in March 2021 that they are closing stores:


Designer Brands, the parent company of DSW, Shoe Warehouse, and other brands, said that it plans to close nearly 65 stores over the course of the next four years as leases at its locations expire, Retail Dive reported. The closures will include 24 stores in 2021, according to the news outlet.

The company made the announcement in a call to analysts as it released its earnings for Q4, which saw net sales for the quarter decrease by 26.6% to $609.4 million compared to a year earlier. Full-year net sales also dropped by 36% to $2.2 billion compared to the previous year.

Designer Brands reported a net loss of $134 million for the quarter and $488.7 million for the year.

At the same time, the company said that it was reducing the workforce of its fashion footwear brand Camuto by 25%, citing the “casualization of America throughout the pandemic,” which “dramatically reduced the demand for dress brands and footwear,” Seeking Alpha said.


Fossil is planning on closing 65 to 75 stores this year, according to WWD via Yahoo Finance. The watch and accessory retailer had 421 stores located in 140 countries as of Jan. 2, the news outlet said.

The news came as the company reported global net sales of $528 million, down 26% for Q4 2020 compared to a year earlier, and global net sales of $1.6 billion for the year, down 27%.

Fossil said its revenues decline across all categories globally, including watches, leather accessories, and jewelry for the quarter, according to its earnings report. But digital sales increased 25% compared to a year earlier.

JC Penney

JC Penney joins the list of retailers closing stores amid the pandemic, adding to the number of locations it has closed since it filed for bankruptcy last May.

At the time that JC Penney filed for bankruptcy protection, it said that it would close 242 of its 846 stores. The retailer emerged from Chapter 11 in December after it was acquired by Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc.

After closing 156 stores, the department store retailer initially slated more stores to close this March. The closures have since been pushing back to mid-May, USA Today reported.

In a statement to the news outlet, JC Penney said, “Our go-forward store count is 672. We have 18 stores that are scheduled to close to the public on May 16. There are no additional store closures planned at this time.”


Disney said it is closing at least 60 stores in North America in 2021 as it looks to focus on its e-commerce business.

The company said it is moving away from physical brick-and-mortar stores and will offer a new assortment and higher-end merchandise from its Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Star Wars-branded lines.

The store closures account for about one-third of Disney’s locations but will not affect shops in Target or its Disney Park sites, USA Today said. The retailer is also evaluating possible closures in Europe but said that stores in Japan and China would not be affected, according to Reuters.

Disney has over 300 stores with over 600 Disney Park stores globally and a series of third-party retailers and outlet sites located worldwide.

A general view of DSW's Shoe Donation Summer Campaign at BronxWorks Community Center on May 9, 2019, in New York City. Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for DSW