2019 has been a record year for store closures in retail. In the US, retailers this year have announced plans to shut more than 9,300 locations. That’s up more than 50% from the total announced closures in 2018, which amounted to 5,844, Coresight said. Previously, the record was for the 8,069 store closures announced in 2017. Bankruptcies continued to be a driving force. This included announcements from Sears, Forever 21, Payless ShoeSource and Destination Maternity.
Many names on the list are apparel chains, including Gap. More and more shoppers are either turning to Amazon to buy home accessories, or to places like Stitch Fix and Rent the Runway to stock their closets. That has put pressure on businesses that have failed to invest in their stores and websites, or to keep their inventories fresh.
“The shift in consumer habits is driving the success of certain retailers,” Meghann Martindale, the global head of Retail Research at commercial real estate services firm CBRE, told CNBC in an interview. “We’ve seen consumer preferences change. … The apparel category is the perfect example of that.” While some are saying 2019 will be an anomaly, and that the worst is behind the industry, others… CNBC News