The retail apocalypse is raging on with almost 6,000 store closings announced so far in 2019 — more than the entirety of last year.
According to a new report from Coresight Research, US retailers have announced 5,994 store closings this year, compared with 5,864 store closings in all of 2018.
The recent announcement by the pharmacy retailer Fred’s that it would close more than 150 underperforming stores sees it join a growing list of retailers that are shuttering brick-and-mortar stores in a bid to save money during the rise of e-commerce.
Charlotte Russe, Family Dollar, and Abercrombie & Fitch are among these stores, announcing the closing of more than 1,100 stores in just 24 hours in March.
Victoria’s Secret, JCPenney, and Gap have also announced plans to shutter dozens of locations.
And some brands are closing all of their stores. Payless announced in February that it was closing all of its 2,500 stores in North America.
Coresight Research CEO Deborah Weinswig predicted that this trend would continue. “The flood of store closures will likely continue for quite some time,” she said.
An April UBS report predicted that 75,000 stores would close across North America from this year to 2026. It said e-commerce would make up a quarter of total retail sales by then.
Coresight also noted, however, that some retailers were announcing new store openings. After going public earlier this year, Levi’s announced plans to open 100 stores in its fiscal year, which ends in November.
There have been 2,641 store openings announced this year, Coresight said, compared with 3,239 openings in all of 2018.
UBS predicted that clothing stores would take the biggest hit, facing an estimated 21,000 store closings — 71% of all clothing shops across the US.