Six months into 2019, there have already been 20% more store closings announced than in all of 2018, according to a new report from global marketing research firm Coresight Research.
Based on Coresight Research’s figures and retailers’ earnings reports, more than 7,000 stores are slated to shutter this year with thousands of locations already gone.
Bankrupt footwear company Payless ShoeSource, which closed its remaining U.S. stores last week, accounts for about 37% of the closings.
The “going-out-of-business” sales and liquidation of other brands is expected to continue. Coresight estimates closures could reach 12,000 by the end of the year, the report said.
Coresight, which has offices in Manhattan, London and Hong Kong, tracked the 5,864 closings in 2018, which included all Toys R Us stores and hundreds of Kmart and Sears locations.
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The record year for closings was 2017, with 8,139 shuttered stores, Coresight found. This included an earlier round of Payless closings, the entire HHGregg electronics and appliance chain, and hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores.
The pain is expected to continue into future years, according to an April report from UBS Securities. UBS analysts said 75,000 more stores would need to be shuttered by 2026 if e-commerce penetration rises to 25% from its current level of 16%.
A separate analysis by UBS said tariffs on Chinese imports could put $40 billion of sales and 12,000 stores at risk.
“The market is not realizing how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures,” UBS analyst Jay Sole wrote in the May report. “We think potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company’s profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility.”….Read more>>