stores closing

Brick-and-Mortar Shops



retail retailer freeze (2)
profit apparel file for bankruptcy
merge spike (2) consecutive
shutter slate (2) brick-and-mortar shops
option sacrifice feel the pinch
bolster take a hit convenience
earn quarter prove (2)
stellar achieve overtime
CEO share (2) dominance
prime founder announce
soar payroll lucrative

Aéropostale is an American retailer that sells the latest teenage apparel. They operate mainly in shopping malls. The first Aéropostale store was opened in 1987 in Los Angeles, CA. Since then, the company had grown to 860 outlets.

Then in 4 May 2016, after thirteen consecutive quarters of losses, Aéropostale filed for bankruptcy. It plans to close 174 stores.

Later that month, JC Penney announced that it would cut payroll and freeze overtime for its employees. In 2015, JC Penney had announced it would close 40 of its locations.

Meanwhile fellow mall giant Sears has shuttered more than 200 stores over the past two years.

It’s the age of Amazon.

And brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling the pinch.

Amazon’s dominance — bolstered by mostly lower prices, more options and increased convenience for shoppers (i.e. home delivery) — has caused stores and shopping malls to take a hit.

Meanwhile, in its most recent earnings report, Amazon posted profits for the fourth consecutive quarter. The price of shares of Amazon stock has spiked by about 30% since February 2016.

On the heels of April’s stellar earnings, the fortune of its CEO and founder, Jeff Bezos, has soared by $6 billion in just a few hours.

The company’s first-ever Amazon Prime Day proved to be a bigger sales event than Black Friday last summer, and Amazon is planning a repeat with tens of thousands of sales slated for July 12.

Still, some physical store closings are not a sign of troubled times, but rather the sacrifices necessary to achieve greater profitability. That’s the case with drug store chain Walgreens, which prepared to sell off more than 1,000 branches in order to seal a lucrative merger with competitor Rite Aid.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. Aéropostale had been a very successful company. True or false? What sort of business was it in?

2. Has business for Aéropostale kept increasing? Is it alone?

3. Brick-and-mortar shops are losing business due to poor services by sales clerks. Yes, no, partially, maybe, perhaps?

4. Is business booming for online retailers, such as Amazon?

5. All offline stores are going bankrupt. Is this correct or wrong?


A. How do you and your friends shop for clothing and other consumer goods?

B. Have people’s shopping habits been changing?

C. Do you know anyone who sells products or services online?

D. Is online shopping good, bad, both, or it depends?

E. What will shopping be like in the future?

F. What will happen to traditional shop employees?

Comments are closed.