With the rise of e-commerce, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers in the United States have been struggling for years. Online shopping accounted for just 4.2% of all retail in the U.S. in 2010, but for over 16% by 2020. By some estimates, one in every four U.S. malls will close by 2025 and half of all department stores within malls could shutter by the end of this year.
While these trends predate the coronavirus pandemic, lockdown measures imposed in much of the country over the past year have intensified them, further exacerbating the struggles of many retailers. According to a report compiled by Coresight Research, a retail advisory firm, over 8,000 brick-and-mortar stores in the United States closed permanently in 2020, and another 10,000 are expected to shut down in 2021. Here is a look at the brands that have disappeared in the last decade.
Using corporate press releases of the 100 largest retailers operating in the U.S by total revenue, as well as media reports on high profile bankruptcy filings and mass closures, 24/7 Wall St. identified the retailers closing the most stores. Closure counts are only for U.S. locations, unless otherwise noted, and include both 2020 and 2021 closures as well as planned future closures. It is important to note that this list is representative of trends in retail as highlighted by major brands and is not exhaustive.
For many companies on this list, store closures are part of a strategic restructuring plan — closing underperforming stores, reducing costs, and focusing on growth areas, like e-commerce.
In some other cases, the companies that appear on this list are either liquidating all of their assets and going out of business — or likely soon will. Here is a look at the American businesses that might not survive coronavirus.
To identify the retailers closing the most stores, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed press releases and media coverage of the 100 largest retailers by global sales revenue. We also included some high profile retailers that are not among the 100 largest, but that have recently made news for bankruptcy declarations or mass store closures. We included closures that have taken place in the past year and those that are planned for the coming year.
Retail locations that have been sold to a competing company for rebranding were not included. Companies where the number of closures were largely offset by the opening of new locations were also excluded. This list is representative of trends in retail as highlighted by major brands and is not exhaustive.