More than 9,300 stores closed in 2019

2019 was another bruising year for many American retailers, despite healthy consumers and a strong economy.This year, US retailers announced 9,302 sto...

Posted: Dec 19, 2019 9:44 AM

2019 was another bruising year for many American retailers, despite healthy consumers and a strong economy.

This year, US retailers announced 9,302 store closings, a 59% jump from 2018 and the highest number since Coresight Research began tracking the data in 2012. Bankruptcies in the retail sector intensified this year and many struggling chains cut stores. That led to a spike in closings.

Payless, Gymboree, Charlotte Russe and Shopko all filed for bankruptcy and closed a combined 3,720 stores, according to Coresight. The majority of those were because of Payless, which filed for its second bankruptcy in February and shuttered 2,100 US stores.

Discount chain Fred's filed for bankruptcy in September and closed 564 stores. Forever 21 also filed for bankruptcy that month and said it will close up to 178 stores. Forever 21's closures are not in Coresight's report since they are not finalized.

Other retailers, such as Ann Taylor parent Ascena Retail, Family Dollar, GNC, Walgreens, Signet Jewelers, Victoria's Secret and JCPenney, slashed their store footprints to save money and prop up higher-performing stores.

Family Dollar closed 359 this year, while Signet, the parent company of mall stalwarts Kay, Jared and Zales, announced 159 closures.

Thousands more store closings could be on the way in the coming years as online shopping continues to replace purchases at physical stores and eat into retailers' profits. High debt levels and rent have also burdened traditional retailers.

Online sales make up around 16% of retail sales today, but they will rise to 25% by 2026, UBS analysts estimated in a research report.

That could force up to 75,000 mores stores to close by 2026, including more than 20,000 clothing stores and about 10,000 consumer electronics stores, UBS estimates. Thousands of home furnishings and sporting goods stores will also need to close as online shopping grows rapidly.

Even thriving retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy quietly closed a handful of their stores — although those companies are opening some, too. And department stores such as Nordstrom and Kohl's are shuttering a few stores each.

As of Monday, Macy's was the worst stock on the S&P 500 this year, losing 49%, while Gap, L Brands, Kohl's and Nordstrom were in the bottom 20 on the index.

Moody's lowered its outlook for department stores heading into the holiday season.

"Despite a very favorable consumer spending environment, department stores have yet to catch a break," analyst Christinia Boni said in a research report.

Michael Brown, partner in the consumer and retail practice of consulting firm AT Kearney, said that he expects store closings to outplace openings in 2020 as retailers continue to "right size" their footprints.

Some retailers are opening stores, however. The Coresight report noted that this year, retailers announced 4,392 openings this year. The discount sector in particular is growing. Dollar General announced it opened 975 stores this year, a similar number to previous years.

"We continue to believe we operate in one of the most attractive sectors in retail," Dollar General CEO Todd Vasos said on a call with analysts earlier this month. Dollar General will open 1,000 new stores next year and it plans for an additional 13,000 around the country.

Meanwhile, discount chains like Ollie's Bargain Outlet and Five Below expanded this year. Discount grocer Aldi and opened hundreds of stores in the United States to reach customers who want to shop for cheap groceries, and TJX continued its rapid growth, opening nearly 200 stores.

Some parts of the retail business could bounce back next year.

"Malls are benefiting from the refreshing influence of Generation Zers, who prefer to shop in stores and are driving traffic back to brick-and-mortar retail," real estate firm CBRE analysts said in a research report.

Online brands will open stores, food and beverage concepts are growing, gyms and fitness concepts are spreading, and pop-up stores continue to be a popular tool for many retailers.

A healthy economy should also continue to bolster many retailers and malls in the coming year.

"We expect continued growth and strength for both retailers and shopping center owners as consumer fundamentals remain strong," said JLL CEO Greg Maloney.

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 80°
Kokomo
Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Fowler
Partly Cloudy
78° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 80°
Williamsport
Partly Cloudy
79° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 82°
Crawfordsville
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Frankfort
Mostly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 75°
Delphi
Mostly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 76°
Monticello
Mostly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 76°
Logansport
Cloudy
73° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
Some more needed rainfall with real taste of Fall weather...
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events