8. The Gap ( GPS) Stores closed or closing this year: 89
The same group of consumers that raised online hell for a few days over The Gap's proposed logo change a few years back are far more enamored with what's on the retailer's bags than what's in them. Consumers have been leaving the brand steadily since just after its khakis-and-swing-dancing last hurrah in the '90s and increasingly flocking to the parent company's other shops, including Old Navy, Banana Republic and Athleta. Unless they're planning on choreographing a routine to Brian Setzer's version of Jump, Jive an' Wail at a Halloween party this year, those same consumers will likely keep bypassing the gap for the pop-up shops in its wake. 7. Esprit Stores closed or closing this year: 93 Somewhere, a sorority sister with dreams of an awesome '80s costume is weeping silently in a mall bathroom. Like Chess King, Suncoast Video and the '80s mall staples before it, Esprit has been relegated to consumer memory and the occasional cameo in a John Hughes or Amy Heckerling film. The German-owned company realized it wasn't competitive in North America, mostly because nobody wants to look like a Patrick Nagel painting or a Robert Palmer background singer anymore. 6. Ritz/Wolf Camera Stores closed or closing this year: 137 This chain has gone bankrupt twice since Apple ( AAPL) released the iPhone. When your key product is now pretty well replicated by people's phones and no longer needs peripherals such as film or lenses to operate in the simplest capacities, that's pretty much a sign you're going to be part of someone's steampunk Halloween costume a few years from now. Much as folks don't have much reason to buy a multipound Western Electric tabletop phone as anything other than antiques, most consumers had little reason to head to a Ritz before they went seasonal. 5. Pacific Sunwear ( PSUN) Stores closed or closing this year: 175 to 200 Know why people shopped at Pacific Sunwear for much of the past 30 years? Because it introduced them to brands such as Hurley and Quiksilver that folks in surf and skate culture were wearing. Know why they haven't been shopping there recently? Because "PacSun" decided to cede those items to shops including Zumiez ( ZUMZ) and Tilly's ( TLYS) and go with their own line of goods instead. That's how you lose a few hundred stores at a clip and become pretty much the last place people would shop if they rode a surfboard, snowboard or skateboard. A costume shop may have more surf and skate cred at this point.