The chain last year shuttered a well known location, and the CEO publicly referred to the current calendar year as “challenging.” Company plans, however, remain ambitious.
This article represents the latest in a series that attempts to elucidate the truth behind internet rumors of business closures, and is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Wikipedia.org, ScrapeHero.com, CourierPostOnline.com, The Motley Fool, and CBSNews.com.
Wikipedia features a comprehensive overview of the Burlington department store chain: Burlington, formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory, is an American national off-price department store retailer, and a division of Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corporation with 740 stores in 40 states and Puerto Rico, with its corporate headquarters located in Burlington Township, New Jersey. In 2007, it was acquired by Bain Capital in a transaction and in 2008, Tom Kingsbury became President and CEO. The company went public again in 2013. Burlington is the third largest off-price retailer after TJX Companies and Ross Stores.
The chain was founded in 1972. Currently, according to ScrapeHero.com: There are 869 Burlington locations in the United States as of June 22, 2022. The state with the most number of Burlington locations in the US is California, with 95 locations, which is 10% of all Burlington locations in America.
Note: These up-to-date numbers represent an increase from the last-updated Wikipedia location count, which is in line with stated company goals.
According to a March, 2022 piece from CourierPostOnline.com, “Burlington Stores Executive Sees Uncertainty Ahead,” the chain’s CEO, Michael O’Sullivan, reported higher annual sales but a “disappointing slowdown” in the final quarter amid “growing economic uncertainty.”
As excerpted from the article: The discount chain reported total revenue of $9.32 billion for fiscal 2021, up by 28 percent from $7.28 billion in fiscal 2019. It posted net income of $409 million, or $6 per share, for the fiscal year ended Jan. 29. That was down by 12 percent from $465.1 million, or $6.91 per share, two years earlier.
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The State of Burlington, 2022
The Motley Fool, in its December, 2021 piece titled “Burlington Stores to Accelerate Expansion,” disclosed upcoming company plans while addressing the third-quarter 2021 fiscal year: While cost pressures caused adjusted earnings per share (EPS) to fall compared to the third quarter of 2019, sales grew significantly, as consumers continue to shift spending toward off-price retailers to save money. Moreover, Burlington's management expects favorable industry conditions to create a huge runway for store growth. As a result, the company announced that it will dramatically accelerate its expansion plans over the next couple of years.
As the company announced its acceleration plans, a popular location closed in the midst. And also, Burlington notably ceased its e-Commerce operations in 2020, preferring to focus its attention on other potentially viable business opportunities.
The location that shuttered was the Burlington in Thousand Oaks, CA per ConejoValleyGuide.com (July, 2021 closure).
Regarding the company’s growth, CBSNews.com reported in March, 2021’s ”Stores Are Closing But This Discount Chain Plans To Move In,” that Burlington planned to open 100 new stores in other former retail locations: A record number of stores are closing across America. One discount clothing chain thinks it can step in to fill some of those vacancies. Burlington Stores plans to open 100 new stores this year and sees an opportunity to reach 2,000 US stores in the future, the company said Thursday. Previously, Burlington (formerly known as Burlington Coat Factory) expected to build 1,000 stores. It currently has more than 750 outlets. Burlington said in a news release that it was increasing its total store target because of the "opportunity presented by accelerating retail disruption and industry wide store closures."
To date, company revenues have stabilized and the strategy appears to be paying off.
Burlington’s expansion mode is one to watch, and may provide a model for similar companies who remain challenged by pandemic-era repercussions.
Options to shutter under-performing locations, as with any other retailer, remain on the table. For now, the company’s growth mode is a business-positive.
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