The latest blow to retail shopping was this week's news that Foot Locker and sister store Champs Sports plan to close as many as 420 mall-based stores across America by 2026.

It seems that underperforming Champs Sports locations will be the first to go with the word that 125 Champs locations will close this year.

There are 38 Foot Lockers in New Jersey and 18 Champs Sports.

Both Foot Locker and Champs Sports have stores in the Hamilton Mall in Mays Landing, Cumberland Mall in Vineland, and the Ocean County Mall in Toms River.

No specific store-closing information has been released yet, but the future of these South Jersey locations is certainly in question as the company plans for a smaller business footprint for Foot Locker.

Foot Locker's new "Lace Up" plan calls for shifting to less expensive off-mall locations focusing on strengthening its standalone stores with new concepts, Foot Locker said during its Investor Day presentation.

This news comes as Foot Locker prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2024.

"We are entering 2023 with a focus on resetting the business -- simplifying our operations and investing in our core banners and capabilities to position the company for growth in 2024 and beyond," Foot Locker president and CEO Mary Dillon said in a news release on the company's website.

The company said it anticipates closing 25% of its locations in A- and B-rated malls and 50% of its stores in C- and D- rated malls.

"These 400 stores represent nearly 10% of our total sales," senior vice president of store development Tony Aversa said.

Mall ratings reflect sales per square foot. Foot Locker displayed a presentation showing sales at A- and B-rated malls increased by 8% since 2019, according to Business Insider.

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