According to new research from IHL Group, North American retailers will open 12,663 stores and close 8,828 stores in 2018, for a net increase of 3,835 store locations. The report found that a handful of retailers – 16 companies – represented 66% of the total number of store closings. For restaurants, 16 companies represented 74% of all net closings.
IHL’ Retail’s Radical Transformation/Real Opportunities report reviews 1,485 retail chains with 50 or more locations on net store openings and closings. It found that while physical retail is thriving it is also changing drastically.
“There has been a great deal of negative press about retail in the last two years,” said Greg Buzek, president of IHL Group. “Overall retail is very healthy… But there are vast differences in retail segments with some growing rapidly and others struggling.”
According to the research, grocery stores, drug stores, mass merchants/supercenters, and convenience stores are adding a net 2,694 stores in 2018. The increase is on top of 3,115 net new stores in 2017.
“Off-price retailers, dollar stores, grocery and restaurants are seeing great growth,” added Buzek. “It is the apparel and department stores that continue to struggle and the C & D class malls that really need to adjust in this new market to drive traffic. The strong growth is at the high end and the low end side of retail and these are generally A-level malls and off mall locations.”