As the economy cycles down through summer, there is new, alarming data that shows retail store closings are accelerating.
Coresight Research says there have already been 20% more store closings announced in the first six months of 2019 than in all of 2018.
The research firm examined figures and retailers’ earnings reports, found that more than 7,000 are expected to close this year with many locations already shut down.
Bankrupted Payless ShoeSource closed its remaining stores last week, accounts for 37% of the closing this year.
Coresight estimates closures could hit at least 12,000 stores by the end of 4Q19. The firm already tracked 5,864 closings in 2018, which included all Toys R Us, Kmart and Sears.
The retail apocalypse reared its ugly head in 2017 when a record 8,139 store closures were reported.
In a separate reported, noted by USA Today, UBS said 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products could jeopardize $40 billion of retail sales and puts 12,000 stores at risk of closing.
“The market does not realize how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures,” UBS analyst Jay Sole wrote in the May report. “We think the potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company’s profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility.”
It’ll take several months for the new round of tariffs to filter through the economy, raise retail prices, force consumers to shop online or not at all, and then lead to a new wave of closings in 1H20. As for the economy, growth rates are indeed declining as an industrial slowdown is spread to other sectors.
Here is Coresight’s complete list of store closures so far for this year:
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