Report: Store Closures Increase But General Merchandise Channel Gains

A Coresight Research Insight Report asserts that major retailers in the U.S. have announced 7,567 store closures so far this year compared with 5,524 stores all of last year, but it isn’t all bad news.

Major U.S. retailers also have announced 3,064 store openings for 2019 as of July 31 versus 3,083 for full-year 2018, the market research firm reported.

The general merchandise channel has announced the greatest number of store openings, with Dollar General, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar accounting for a significant majority of the location debuts. General merchandise retailers have prepared 1,739 store openings and 1,049 closures so far this year. The top store closures came from Shopko, 371, Fred’s, 313, and Dollar Tree’s Family Dollar division, 359 in a process of reorganization and  post-acquisition consolidation. According to Coresight, Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have instituted 348 and 202 stores openings respectively, while Dollar General set 975.

Store closures have focused on specific sectors with apparel leading all others, Coresight indicated. Apparel specialty stores have announced 2,750 closures so far this year, with Gymboree, Dressbarn, Charlotte Russe and Charming Charlie contributing a majority of the closings. However, the retailer announcing the most store closures as a single enterprise is a footwear specialist: Payless has closed 2,100 stores so far in 2019.