All Bob’s stores to close after 70 years in latest US retail loss

Pop Stores, the beloved department store that has been providing clothing to families across the Northeast for 70 years, will permanently close its doors at all of its locations in the latest casualty of U.S. retail.

The retail giant’s CEO Dave Barton announced Monday that the company is “unable to secure the financing necessary to sustain operations.”

Bob’s Stores will liquidate its inventory at 21 locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island — and offer discounts ranging from 30 to 70 percent until the store closes on July 14.

“We regret that our financial situation has necessitated the liquidation of Bob’s stores,” Barton said. “Bob’s has been a mainstay in our local communities for nearly 70 years, and we know our customers remember us as being there for important moments in their lives.”

Bob’s Stores announced the closure of 21 of its U.S. locations on July 14 after it was unable to secure the financing needed to sustain operations. David B. Willis/Asbury Park Journal/USA Today Network

The store, which has 13 locations in the New York tri-state area alone, specializes in “footwear, workwear, team apparel, and everyday wear” for families. One of the New York locations, located in Centereach on Long Island, celebrated its grand opening last December.

“We are grateful to our suppliers, customers and employees for all their support over the years,” Barton added.

On June 20, Barton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for Bob’s Stores and its sister company, Eastern Mountain Sports, which employs 290 full-time and 481 part-time workers.

According to the court fileThe two companies share a headquarters and distribution center in Meriden, Connecticut.

In May, parent company GoDigital Media Group abruptly laid off 150 workers at the facility when it opted to “work from its larger stores remotely” rather than undertake an “aggressive” restructuring.

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Bob’s stores specialize in “footwear, workwear, teamwear, and everyday wear.” bob stores

Barton claimed that both Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports generated $131.85 million in net revenue during calendar year 2023.

However, PNC Bank claimed it owed nearly $30 million plus an additional $27 million in unpaid rent and operating debt.

According to the petition, the companies also accrued $935,000 in unpaid wage obligations.

The store’s website is listed as “under construction” with a message about an “improved online shopping experience” in the future.

Entrepreneur Bob Lapidus started Bob’s Stores – then known as Bob’s Surplus – as a small store in Middletown, Connecticut in 1954. The company expanded to more than 35 stores throughout the Northeast before it was hit by a series of bankruptcy filings.

Bob’s Stores started in Connecticut and has expanded to over 30 stores throughout the Northeast. Newsday via Getty Images

Retail chains are closing nearly 3,200 stores this year — a 24 percent increase from 2023, according to an analysis from CoreSight Research.

In May, supermarket chain Stop & Stop closed several stores across the Northeast due to poor performance, while seafood restaurant Red Lobster closed at least 50 of its locations and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

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