This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

5 Once-Great Retailers That Are Now Halloween Pop-Up Shops

PORTLAND, Ore. ( TheStreet) -- Take a good look at the strip malls and "lifestyle centers" where U.S. consumers will be doing much of the Halloween shopping this year. Chances are you'll see the names of their dead inhabitants still burned onto the tombstone storefronts that house Halloween pop-up shops.

Halloween is about as good a time as any to take U.S. retail's pre-holiday temperature, and the storefront corpses littering retail vacancy rates across the nation tend to chill things a bit. Even as the National Association of Realtors predicts retail vacancy rates will improve from 12% last year to 10% by the third quarter of 2014, some stores are still flatlining.

We took a look around the nation's strip malls and the dying indoor shopping plazas once known as "the mall" to find the companies most likely to have logos labels scarred onto Halloween pop-up stores. There are plenty of ghosts, cobwebs and Sexy Fry Cook costumes in the windows now, but those stores are still haunted by the ghosts of a more lively economic past:

5. The Gap (GPS)
Stores closed: 189

The carnage started last year, but the clothing retailer of waning relevance closed the last of its surplus shops in 2013. It's hard to believe that consumers once cared about The Gap enough to protest a proposed logo change a few years back, considering they haven't been picking up the bags emblazoned with those logos in great numbers for a number of years.

It's not that the company itself is doing so poorly. It's just that consumers have been leaving the brand steadily since just after its khakis-and-swing-dancing days of the '90s and flocking increasingly to sister shops such as Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta. With many of this year's Halloween revelers too young to remember or care about Brian Setzer's version of Jump, Jive an' Wail, it's little surprise they keep passing up a store that hasn't changed with the times -- despite its best efforts.

4. Barnes & Noble (BKS)
Stores closed: 189

Nook? What's a Nook? Revenue from the once promising e-reader plummeted 20% this year, sales of the readers dropped 23% and digital book sales fell 15.8%. Overall store revenue also dropped 10% as competition from independent booksellers, Amazon (AMZN) and Apple (AAPL) all continued to pressure the shop toward its increasingly frightening final chapter. The good news? Once you rip out all the shelves and that in-store Starbucks (SBUX), there's a whole lot of floor space for costumes.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $125.01 -0.63%
FB $78.10 0.70%
GOOG $524.22 -1.24%
TSLA $230.43 -1.08%
YHOO $41.66 0.87%

Markets

DOW 17,841.98 -86.22 -0.48%
S&P 500 2,080.15 -9.31 -0.45%
NASDAQ 4,919.6440 -19.6830 -0.40%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs