Year in Review: The Retail News of 2017

The retail realm has seen a dramatic change this year, with more than 6,000 outposts shutting their doors and shopping malls blowing up their footprints to redesign their centers in an effort to appeal to millennial shoppers.

Here’s a look at the changes in retail this year.


The National Retail Federation trade group announced that the holiday 2016 season’s business beat forecasts by seeing a 4 percent spending uptick to $658.3 billion. The NRF had predicted that the season’s sales would rise 3.6 percent to $655.8 billion.

For Macy’s Inc., the department store saw a 2.1 percent decline for same-store results during the 2016 holiday season. At the same time, the retailer announced that 6,200 employees from Macy’s Inc.’s executive workforce would be laid off.


Wet Seal Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, closing a painful chapter for the 50-year-old retailer. In January it announced it would shutter all of its physical stores. In March, finance companyGordon Brothers acquired the intellectual property of Wet Seal for $3 million. It later reemerged as an e-commerce business.

Nasty Gal made a splash with its e-commerce business, based on the sartorial tastes and lifestyle of charismatic founder Sophia Amoruso. But in February, British company acquired the bankrupt Nasty Gal for $20 million.

Gap Inc. laid off 216 people at its San Francisco corporate office.

Herbert Fink, a founding father of the Rodeo Drive retail district, died at 93.

BCBGMaxAzria announced plans to close almost 400 of its 570 retail locations.


After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Quiksilver Inc. announced it would be called Boardriders Inc.

Gary Schoenfeld left Pacific Sunwear of California. He was the chief executive who guided PacSun through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing and a massive restructuring.

ModCloth was acquired by WalMart’s for an undisclosed amount.

Bebe Stores Inc. dismissed more than 700 employees. Later in the year, it closed all but one of its physical stores in North America. It continues to run bricks-and-mortar boutiques in Latin America, Russia, Asia and the Middle East.


The Peri.A boutique opened on Los Angeles’ Robertson Boulevard. Robertson boosters hoped it was a sign of a comeback for the retail street.

Bachrach men’s stores, based in Los Angeles, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and re-emerged with a small footprint.


Eco-label Reformation opened a more than 3,000-square-foot boutique in its hometown of Los Angeles. The eco-friendly boutique features retail tech such as touchscreens.


Rei Kawakubo’s Dover Street Market made plans to open a 10,000-square-foot emporium in downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District, according to media reports.

Gorman, an Australian boutique, opened its first North American shop in West Hollywood, Calif.

The Patrick brand opened a 2,300-square-foot store and headquarters in downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District.


Michael Costello, a Project Runway winner and a designer of red-carpet gowns for celebrities such as Beyoncé, unveiled a self-named boutique in downtown Los Angeles.

The Odaingerous brand revealed its first shop near downtown Los Angeles’ Fashion District.


Handcrafted LA opened at The Bloc retail center in downtown Los Angeles. It’s a store for indie designers and labels.

Nordstrom Inc. opened a new concept store called Nordstrom Local on Melrose Place. Nordstrom Local will carry no inventory. Customers can pick up or return items they ordered online.

Karmaloop founder Greg Selkoe unveiled a new venture,

Fred Segal opened its West Hollywood flagship. Following Fred Segal’s heritage, the new 13,000-square-foot space offers ample space for emerging brands and denim.

Nordstrom closed its full-line store at the Westside Pavilion shopping center in West Los Angeles. It moved to the remodeled Westfield Century City mall.


Westfield Century City unveiled a $1 billion remodel to great fanfare. The shopping center features a new, full-line Nordstrom, a remodeled Bloomingdale’s and a Macy’s. There’s also a host of new boutiques such as Untuckit, Artizia and Oak + Fort. In December, Westfield Corp. announced it was being acquired by the European real-estate investment trust Unibail-Rodamco SE.

Please Do Not Enter expanded from its downtown Los Angeles headquarters. It opened a second location in West Hollywood.

Nordstrom Rack opened a location in downtown Los Angeles.


Lacoste, the clothier to several generations of tennis aficionados and others, reopened a flagship on Rodeo Drive.

Stitch Fix, a San Francisco–headquartered subscription-style fashion company, filed for an initial public offering.

Junk Food unveiled Tees + Jeans on Los Angeles’ Abbot Kinney retail street. It’s a new store concept/collaboration with Levi’s.


Terry J. Lundgren announced he will be retiring as Macy’s chairman of the board. Lundgren had been Macy’s CEO since 2003 and the company’s chairman in 2004. Jeff Gennette, the current Macy’s CEO, will be the company’s chairman after Lundgren’s departure.