See inside a defunct Macy’s that underwent a $3.5 million transformation to become a high school in Vermont

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Downtown Burlington High School is located in a defunct Macy’s store.

  • A high school in Burlington, Vermont moved into a defunct Macy’s store.
  • The school district spent $3.5 million renovating the department store into classrooms.
  • Some abandoned malls across the US are being repurposed for other uses.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
High school students in Burlington, Vermont are now attending school in what was once a Macy’s department store in a local mall, Lisa Rathke reported for the Associated Press.

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Downtown Burlington High School.

Students at the school spent the previous six months learning remotely after toxic chemicals that can have dangerous health effects, called PCBs, were found in the school building. 

The district signed a six-month lease on the former Macy’s location, spending $3.5 million to renovate the 150,000 square foot space so it would be useable as a school, Seven Days Vermont reported.

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Downtown Burlington High School.

Macy’s closed the location in 2018, but it’s still set up like a standard department store. Dividers separate the huge space into dozens of classrooms, plus a cafeteria, library, and physical education room.

Read more: 9 retail brands that are prime M&A targets in 2021, according to experts

The escalators are one of the features that make Downtown Burlington High School different from others. Students told the AP that escalators and elevators are “nice features” for students.

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Downtown Burlington High School.

Some students and faculty told the AP that the lack of windows can be an issue, and noise travels because the dividing walls don’t reach the ceiling, but the temporary solution is working.

 “It’s way better than being stuck at home on your computer all day long,” Senior Lila Iyengar Lehman told the AP.

The cafeteria is in the space that once held Michael Kors products, and signs of the building’s previous life as a mall are still around.

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Downtown Burlington High School.

Lunch buffets have replaced display cases.

“It’s amazing to think that we are standing in what used to be a department store,” Superintendent Tom Flanagan said at the opening ceremony.

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Downtown Burlington High School.

“That we’re greeting people where we used to buy winter coats; reading books where they once sold fine China; taking phone calls in converted changing rooms; and learning science in the old suit racks,” he continued.

The china department was transformed into a library, and shelves that once held dinnerware now hold books for high school students.

Downtown Burlington High School
Downtown Burlington High School.

The gym, located in the warehouse, is still a work in progress.

Shuttered American malls are a symptom of the retail apocalypse that led to 9,300 store closings in 2019, 8,300 in 2020, and already more than 1,000 in 2021.

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Downtown Burlington High School.

This trend is especially deadly for malls, which rely on anchor stores like Macy’s and Sears to drive foot traffic inside. 

As malls close, some simply sit empty and abandoned. Others are being repurposed for new uses.

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Downtown Burlington High School.

Epic Games spend $95 million on a North Carolina mall with plans to turn it into a new company headquarters.

Other malls are being used as mass COVID-19 vaccination centers, including the Mall of America in Minnesota and the Townsquare Mall in New Jersey.

Read the original article on Business Insider

More than 1000 stores are closing in 2021 as the retail apocalypse drags on. Here’s the full list.

empty mall for lease
A strip mall store sits empty April 7, 2008 in Ontario, California.

  • Retailers have confirmed more than 1000 store closures in 2021 so far.
  • Disney, Best Buy, and Macy’s are a few of the stores planning to close locations this year.
  • More than 8,000 US stores closed last year, and experts predict 10,000 possible closures in 2021.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Retailers have announced plans to close more than 1000 stores this year, and experts say the total could reach 10,000 stores or more.

Mass closures, referred to as the retail apocalypse, have continued over the past few years. In 2020, more than 8,300 US stores closed, following 9,300 in 2019, according to Insider analysis. Research firm Coresignt predicts this trend will continue into 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic made online orders surge over the past year, but it wreaked havoc on brick and mortar retailers. Other retailers that didn’t close filed for bankruptcy, including J Crew, Nieman Marcus, and JCPenney.

Here’s a list of stores expected to close this year.

Disney: 60 stores

GettyImages 1230737834
Disney store.

Disney plans to close 60 stores across North America by the end of 2021 to focus on e-commerce, the company announced.

The closures will affect 20% of Disney’s 300 global retail stores before it looks at more potential closures, especially in Europe, according to CNBC. Japan and China will not be affected. Disney also acknowledged that this change would lead to layoffs but declined to say how many people will be impacted.

Best Buy: 5

Best Buy

Best Buy is closing five stores across the US in early 2021, the retailer confirmed to four local news outlets.

The retailer plans to close two Richmond, Virginia area stores, along with one store each in Syracuse, New York, Carbondale, Illinois, and Brockton, Massachusetts.

Francesca’s: 140

francesca's

Francesca’s filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in December and closed 140 of 700 total stores in January.

Read more: The CEO of Planet Fitness is preparing for a brick-and-mortar fitness boom as the company creates content to disrupt digital offerings made popular by the pandemic

Macy’s: 45

Macy's

Macy’s told employees at 45 locations that their stores would close in 2021, CNBC first reported.

The closures are part of the plan the retailer announced back in February 2020 to close 125 stores by 2023, about one-fifth of total locations. At the time, Macy’s also announced that it would cut 2,000 corporate jobs.

Bed Bath and Beyond: 43

bed bath and beynod

Home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond closed 43 stores in February, after 63 closures in 2020.

Paper Source: 11

Paper source store

Greeting card store Paper Source filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and announced plans to close 11 of its 158 stores.

Goodwill: 8

Goodwill store

Goodwill announced plans to close eight Bay Area stores this year.

The Children’s Place: 122

The Children's Place

Children’s retail apparel chain The Children’s Place plans to close 122 stores in 2021 to complete the 300 closure goal it previously announced, according to fourth-quarter earnings.

Justice: 200

Loft Outlet

Owner Ascena Retail Group, which also owns Ann Taylor and Loft, announced plans to close the remaining 200 Justice stores.

H&M: 350

GettyImages 1216823191
Shoppers walk past a H&M store in north London, UK.

Fast fashion retailer H&M plans to close 350 stores in 2021 and open 100, for a net loss of 250 stores. The company cited a rise in e-commerce.

Fossil: 65

Fossil store

Accessories retailer Fossil is closing at least 65 stores after decreased sales in 2020, BisNow reported.

DSW: 65

DSW

DSW has plans to close 65 stores over the next four years, making up 10% of total locations after a 36% drop in sales in 2020, Biz Journals reported.

Read the original article on Business Insider

More than 400 stores are closing in 2021 as the retail apocalypse drags on. Here’s the full list.

empty mall for lease
A strip mall store sits empty April 7, 2008 in Ontario, California.

  • Retailers have confirmed more than 400 store closures in 2021 so far.
  • Disney, Best Buy, and Macy’s are a few of the stores planning to close locations this year.
  • More than 8,000 US stores closed last year, and experts predict 10,000 possible closures in 2021.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Retailers have announced plans to close more than 300 stores this year, and experts say the total could reach 10,000 stores or more.

Mass closures, referred to as the retail apocalypse, have continued over the past few years. In 2020, more than 8,300 US stores closed, following 9,300 in 2019, according to Insider analysis. Research firm Coresignt predicts this trend will continue into 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic made online orders surge over the past year, but it wreaked havoc on brick and mortar retailers. Other retailers that didn’t close filed for bankruptcy, including J Crew, Nieman Marcus, and JCPenney.

Here’s a list of stores expected to close this year.

Disney: 60 stores

GettyImages 1230737834
Disney store.

Disney plans to close 60 stores across North America by the end of 2021 to focus on e-commerce, the company announced.

The closures will affect 20% of Disney’s 300 global retail stores before it looks at more potential closures, especially in Europe, according to CNBC. Japan and China will not be affected. Disney also acknowledged that this change would lead to layoffs but declined to say how many people will be impacted.

Best Buy: 5

Best Buy

Best Buy is closing five stores across the US in early 2021, the retailer confirmed to four local news outlets.

The retailer plans to close two Richmond, Virginia area stores, along with one store each in Syracuse, New York, Carbondale, Illinois, and Brockton, Massachusetts.

Francesca’s: 140

francesca's

Francesca’s filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in December and closed 140 of 700 total stores in January.

Read more: The CEO of Planet Fitness is preparing for a brick-and-mortar fitness boom as the company creates content to disrupt digital offerings made popular by the pandemic

Macy’s: 45

Macy's

Macy’s told employees at 45 locations that their stores would close in 2021, CNBC first reported.

The closures are part of the plan the retailer announced back in February 2020 to close 125 stores by 2023, about one-fifth of total locations. At the time, Macy’s also announced that it would cut 2,000 corporate jobs.

Bed Bath and Beyond: 43

bed bath and beynod

Home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond closed 43 stores in February, after 63 closures in 2020.

Paper Source: 11

Paper source store

Greeting card store Paper Source filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and announced plans to close 11 of its 158 stores.

Goodwill: 8

Goodwill store

Goodwill announced plans to close eight Bay Area stores this year.

The Children’s Place: 122

The Children's Place

Children’s retail apparel chain The Children’s Place plans to close 122 stores in 2021 to complete the 300 closure goal it previously announced, according to fourth-quarter earnings.

Read the original article on Business Insider