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Loyalty data suggest Nine West may be the next to close stores

  • New data from inMarket's spring loyalty report suggests Nine West may be the next to close stores or lay off employees.
  • Retail store closings are on track to hit a record high this year.

Retail store closings are on track to hit a record high this year with retailers from department stores Sears, Macy's and J.C. Penney to specialty players like BeBe and Rue21 and footwear retailers Crocs and Payless shuttering locations.

While some of the closings are a result of bankruptcy filings, others are companies right-sizing store footprints after expanding beyond what is now necessary in an increasingly online shopping world.

It begs the question, who's next?

New data from inMarket's spring loyalty report suggest Nine West may be the next to close stores or lay off employees.

Nine West's loyalty scores are the lowest in the report, and it's one of only two retailers in the bottom 10 that have not announced store closures, halting expansion, or layoffs so far this year.

Nine West Holdings, which also includes brands Easy Spirit, Anne Klein, Gloria Vanderbilt and l.e.i., has more than 250 of its own stores in addition to the merchandise it sells through wholesale partners like department stores.

The data come from an analysis of location information from more than 50 million mobile devices per month gathered by a combination of technologies including geofencing beacons and Wi-Fi connectivity. According to inMarket, the data are anonymized so no personal identifying information is gathered, just identification of a device which can determine whether that device, and thus the person carrying it, visits that store again.

InMarket explains that each retailer is assigned a loyalty score, determined by the number of repeat visits. In other words, the more the same customers come back, the higher your loyalty score.

Conversely, the data show 5 of the top 10 retailers based on loyalty have plans for new stores or major renovations, including Wal-Mart, Target and Dollar Tree. Home Depot and Lowe's are on the list too, and while neither have store expansion plans, both are logging sales growth.

It's no secret that Nine West is struggling. Late last year, ratings agency Fitch warned that Nine West Holdings was one of the retailers on its watch list for a high risk of default within a year. Moody's downgraded the footwear brand's debt in January to reflect its high debt levels and "unstainable capital structure," adding that it "has a very high probability of default."

Nine West has been owned by private equity firm Sycamore Partners since its 2014 purchase of Nine West's former parent company Jones Group.

Nine West declined CNBC's request for comment.