Coresight Research: Apparel Represents Bulk of Retail Closures During Pandemic

by Jeff Shaw

NEW YORK CITY — More than 8,741 major retail locations closed their doors in the United States during 2020 totaling over 139 million square feet, largely as a result of lockdowns and restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That’s according to the “US and UK Store Closures Review 2020 and US Outlook 2021” report from Coresight Research, a commercial real estate data firm based in New York City.

Apparel stores, including clothing, footwear and accessories, took the brunt of the fallout, accounting for 3,151 of the store closures. Home and office retailers came in a distant second with 1,428 store closures.

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The apparel store closings were driven by a few high-profile bankruptcies. Ascena Retail Group — which includes Ann Taylor, Catherines, Justice, Lane Bryant, LOFT and Lou & Grey brands — closed 1,156 stores; Foot Locker closed 125 stores; Gap closed 119 stores; and Victoria’s Secret closed 231 stores. Eight retailers accounted for 75 percent of the total apparel store closures.

The outlook for 2021 doesn’t look much brighter. Coresight predicts total U.S. retail store closures will hit approximately 10,000 locations, a 14 percent increase over 2020.

On the other side, Coresight tracked 3,304 new store openings in 2020, and forecasts 4,000 more in 2021.

To read the full report, click here.

Jeff Shaw

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