U.S. Retail Store Openings on the Rise

NORTH AMERICA–Retailers are set to open 4,080 more stores in 2017 in the U.S. than they’re closing, and plan to more than 5,500 more in 2018, according to research and advisory firm IHL Group.

April 6, 2018

U.S. Retail Store Openings on the Rise

Radio Shack, Payless Shoes, Rue21, Ascena Retail and Sears account for 28.1 percent fo the total store closings in the U.S.


IHL’s findings are part of its latest report, entitled

Debunking the Retail Apocalypse

, which reviewed more than 1,800 retail chains with more than 50 U.S. locations across 10 retail vertical segments.

Highlights from the study include:

  • For 2017, the total net increase of stores in the U.S. is 4,080. Core retail segments will see a net gain of 1,326 stores, while table-service and fast-food restaurants are adding a net of 2,754 locations. In total, chains are opening 14,239 locations and closing 10,123 stores.

    • Forty-two percent of retailers have a net increase in stores, while 15 percent have a net decrease. Forty three percent of retailers reported no change.

      • The three fastest growing retail segments are off-price retailers and dollar stores (+1,905 stores), convenience stores (+1,700 locations) and grocery stores (+674 stores).

        • Specialty apparel retailers are experiencing the largest number of closings, with a net loss of 3,137 stores. However, for every chain closing stores, 1.3 chains are opening new stores.

          • Sixteen chains account for 48.5 percent of the total number of store closings. Five of these chains–Radio Shack, Payless Shoes, Rue21, Ascena Retail and Sears–represent 28.1 percent of the total store closings.

            “The negative narrative that has been out there about the death of retail is patently false,” says Greg Buzek, president, IHL Group. “The so-called ‘retail apocalypse’ makes for a great headline, but it’s simply not true. Over 4,000 more stores are opening than closing among big chains, and when smaller retailers are included, the net gain is well over 10,000 new stores. As well, through the first seven months of the year, retail sales are up $121.6 billion, an amount roughly equivalent to the total annual retail sales of The Netherlands.”

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