The malls we all knew growing up, may soon resemble ghost towns. The future looks grim nationwide for brick and mortar stores as the retail apocalypse accelerates, with a spate of closures announced for 2019 and beyond.
The Gap, J. Crew, and Michael Kors – in Trouble?
Some of America’s most prominent retailers are shutting stores or declaring bankruptcy due to sagging sales and changing shopping trends. In 2019 there have been more than 5,000 projected store closures, among them retail giants such as J.C. Penney, Macy’s and Sears and iconic brands like J. Crew, Michael Kors, The Gap, and Victoria’s Secret. Even Starbucks has announced it will be closing 150 stores this year.
Fewer People are Shopping at Malls
Visits to malls declined by 50 percent from 2010 to 2013 according to real-estate research firm Cushman and Wakefield. And it’s all because of the changing ways we shop for items. E-commerce has of course taken over in the last few years. With Amazon leading the pack of the retail revolution and so many people enjoying the better deals and convenience of e-commerce, ‘real’ stores are finding it hard to compete.
Payless Shoes Shutting Down for Good
More than 300 store closures were announced in just one day in February. Payless, Gymboree, Crazy 8 and Charlotte Russe will disappear altogether in 2019, closing all their stores in North America. Macy’s, Sears, Kmart, and J.C. Penney have all announced store closures and The Children’s Place will be closing hundreds of stores over the next two years as it shifts to e-commerce. Many of us were shocked and saddened when Toys R Us and Babies R Us, closed up shop for good in 2018. And if you wondered what happened to The Limited, it shut down all its stores in 2017 to focus on e-commerce.
But it’s not all grim – others are asking: What Retail Apocalypse?
The ‘brick and mortar’ shopping experience is not disappearing altogether but rather, it’s changing direction and evolving according to customer needs. Specialty and locally owned boutiques offer unique goods and more personal service for instance. And some e-commerce brands are seeking physical showrooms for their goods.
Target and Walmart reporting growth!
Some companies are even reporting growth, among them, Target and Walmart and others are expanding. Discount grocer Aldi, has announced the opening of 130 stores between 2019 and 2020. T.J.Maxx and Marshalls are opening 60 new stores this year and plan to open its first e-commerce store. Costco plans to open 20 stores, beauty store Ulta plan on opening 80 stores, and Dollar Tree will open 350 stores in 2019 and plan to convert more than 200 Family Dollar locations into Dollar Tree brands. Dollar General is also planning to open 975 stores this year.
So it’s not all bad news for retailers and for those who prefer the tangible experience of shopping in person, there are plenty of stores still open.