Retail Apocalypse: 12,000 Stores Are Forecasted To Close This Year 

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:

Payless ShoeSource2,589 (includes 248 Canada locations and 114 smaller-format stores in Shopko Hometown locations).

Gymboree/Crazy 8749

Dressbarn: 649. Here are the locations that closed in June and closing in July.

Charlotte Russe494; but the company’s new owner is opening new stores.

Shopko: 371

Charming Charlie261

LifeWay Christian Resources170

Topshop: All 11 U.S. stores

Henri Bendel: 23

E.L.F. Beauty: 22

Here are more announced closures that could roll into 2020:

Family DollarAs many as 390 stores

Fred’s: 442; the company said it would close another 129 stores with going-out-of-business sales beginning Friday.

Chico’s: 74, but 250 over the next three years.

GNC: 233

Gap: Roughly 230 in next two years

Walgreens: 195

Foot Locker: 165, total includes closings outside of the U.S.

Signet JewelersThe parent company of Kay, Zales and Jared said it would close another 150 stores.

Pier 1 Imports57, but up to 145 could close.

Ascena Retail: 120

Destination Maternity: 117

Sears72

Victoria’s Secret53

Vera Bradley: 50

Office Depot: 50

Kmart: 48

CVS: 46

Party City: 45

Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores: 45

The Children’s PlaceUp to 45

Z Gallerie: 44

DKNY: 41

Stage Stores: 40 to 60

Bed Bath & Beyond: 40

Abercrombie & Fitch: 40

Francesca’s: At least 30 stores

Build-A-Bear: Up to 30 over two years

Williams-Sonoma: 30

J.C. Penney27

Bath & Body Works24

Southeastern Grocers: 22

Saks Off 5th: 20

Lowe’s20

J. Crew: 20

Macy’s: 8

Nordstrom: 7

Target: 6

J.Crew: 5

Kohl’s: 4

Whole Foods: 1

Calvin Klein: 1

Pottery Barn: 1