US Retail Sales Remain Healthy Despite Bankruptcies and Continued Store Closings

Storm clouds continue to loom over many US retailers in 2020. Below is a list of store closings already announced or expected this year:

• Pier 1 Imports—450 stores (bankruptcy)
• Papyrus—250 stores (bankruptcy)
• GAP—230 stores
• Walgreens—200 stores
• Chico’s—200 stores
• Forever 21—178 stores
• Destination Maternity—183 stores (bankruptcy)
• A.C. Moore—145 stores
• Bose—119 stores
• Earth Fare—50 stores
• Kmart—45 stores
• Bed Bath & Beyond—44 stores
• Macy’s—30 stores
• Modell’s—24 stores

Below is a list of retail companies on Retail Dive’s bankruptcy “watch list” with estimated odds of bankruptcy as high as 50 percent in 2020:

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• Ascena Retail (Ann Taylor, Loft, Justice)
• Christopher and Banks
• J.Crew
• Neiman Marcus
• JCPenney
• Chewy (pet retailer)
• Rite Aid
• Mattress Firm
• Bluestream Brands (Fingerhut, Blair, Gettington)
• Camping World
• FYE (For Your Entertainment)

The following retailers were also mentioned by Retail Dive but with much lower odds of declaring bankruptcy in 2020:

• Build-A-Bear Workshop
• New York & Co.
• Tailored Brands
• Express
• Francesca’s
• J.Jill
• Saks Fifth Avenue
• Stein Mart
• The Container Store
• Kirkland’s
• Sear’s Hometown and Outlet Stores
• Overstock
• Signet Jewelers
• At Home

But all is far from lost for the retail industry in general. It’s changing and evolving to meet consumer’s demands and working hard to make the shopping experience simpler, more relevant, and more enjoyable. The latest statistics for 2018 versus 2017 from the Annual Retail Sales Survey show retail sales growing as follows:

• Electronics and appliance stores +1.5%
• Cars and auto parts dealers +1.6%
• Furniture and home furnishing stores +2.7%
• Building materials, garden, and equipment supply dealers +4.1%
• Food and beverage stores +2.9%
• Health and personal care stores +4.2%
• Gasoline stations +9.8%
• Clothing and clothing accessory stores +2.7%
• Sporting goods, hobby, and bookstores -3.6%
• General merchandise stores +2.8%
• Electronic shopping and mail order houses +11.0%
• Overall per capita retail spending +3.7%

Yes, retail trends and customer’s preferences continue evolve. But, in general, people are spending more money on retail purchases. Retailers who continue to thrive will adjust to the changing trends. Retailers who find themselves behind the curve will struggle. So, to help things along, go shopping!

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