So many stores didn't make it through 2008. Here is a list of them (and a few things I'll miss about each). More here.
Ann Taylor — closed 117 stores out of 966.
• Things to be missed: Classic black cardigans. Determined-looking petite Asian women elbowing you in the stomach when you reach for the last 50% off turtleneck sweater.
Bombay Company — closed all outlets. Filed for Chapter 11.
• Things to be missed: Vaguely British Colonial style dressers, fake Chinese vases, pillows with gold fringe, “mahogany” sleigh beds, and many accessories Liberace would be proud of.
Circuit City — closing all 155 stores. Filed for Chapter 11.
• Things to be missed: The bright red tile outside their building. The nerdy name.
Eddie Bauer — closed 29 stores.
• Things to be missed: Rugged backpacks and long underwear marketed in the same breath as business suits.
Ethan Allen — closed 12 stores.
• Things to be missed: Almost nothing. Or, see “Bombay Company.” Oh, okay, fine. I'll miss their secretary desks. But that's all.
Foot Locker — closed 274 stores in 2007, another 60 in 2008.
• Things to be missed: Cute sales clerks who fetch you running shoes in a multiplicity of sizes. Annoying sales clerks who send text messages instead of fetching you running shoes in a multiplicity of sizes.
Kira Plastinina — closed almost all of her 12 U.S. stores.
• Things to be missed: Everything, everything, everything. Even the pants with the zipper vent in the butt. Sixteen-year-old Russian models do too know how to design clothes.
Sharper Image — closed all 184 stores. Filed for Chapter 11.
• Things to be missed: Random, weird gadgets. Ionic Breeze air purifiers that die within several months of air purification use. The feeling that if they'd held on for just a few more years, they'd have been 90's retro cool.
Linens and Things — closed 120 stores. Filed for Chapter 11.
• Things to be missed: Over-priced hangers, scented candles, and feeling that your home can be organized and sparkling given enough plastic shower caddies and Orange Glo cleaning solution.
Shoe Pavilion — Filed for Chapter 11.
• Things to be missed: Cheap ballet flats. Hooker-ish stilettos you could wear for one night and throw away the next.
Steve & Barry's — Filed for Chapter 11.
• Things to be missed: Celebrity fashion lines, like Sarah Jessica Parker's “Bitten” line and
“dear” by Amanda Bynes.
Mervyns — Filed for Chapter 11.
• Things to be missed: All the same people you saw at Target.