If you ever want to utter the words, “I’d rather try it on in person,” or even the now-dated, “want to go to the mall?,” you’ll want to take action sooner rather than later. According to new research, nearly 6,000 retail stores have closed already in 2019. For perspective, that’s more than the number that closed in all of 2018. It’s not even the end of April.
The new report, courtesy of Coresight Research, found that 5,994 U.S. retailers have announced store closings already, compared to a total of 5,864 in total in 2018. In March of this year alone, Abercrombie & Fitch, Charlotte Russe, and Family Dollar announced closures of more than 1,000 stores. Other big names include the Gap, JCPenney, and Victoria’s Secret.
Why are so many retail stores closing? Bankruptcies. And the rise of e-commerce, aka, internet shopping. For example, the Coresight Research reports that Charlotte Russe, Gymboree, Payless, and Shopko have all filed for bankruptcy in 2019. Between them, they’ll shutter a total of 3,720 stores.
Chains are eager to close underperforming stores as a preventative measure, too. According to the same report, an interesting section of retailers is expanding, though. Specifically? Discount sellers. Dollar General, for example, will open an impressive 975 stores this year alone. Five Below and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet are also expanding. In terms of discount groceries, Lidl and Aldi plan to open a few hundred stores across the country.
In the big picture, an April report from UBS suggested that between now and 2026, 75,000 stores would shutter across North America. The report predicted that internet shopping would replace a quarter of total retail sales at that point.
Given that roughly 4 million people in the U.S. work retail jobs, this news brings some serious implications. Depending on where you live, your schedule, and your health status, working a retail job may be the only one that’s available or accessible to you. It also may be the only work you want to do—there’s no shame in working retail or choosing it. Workers deserve fair rights and securities for all jobs, including retail.