The retail apocalypse has been well documented for readers (see: here & here & here) over the years as tens of thousands of brick and mortar stores nationwide have shuttered their doors. The problem today – is that millions of jobs lost during the pandemic are never coming back – in a consumer-based economy – this sets up for even more store closures.
UBS analyst Michael Lasser told clients this week that a whopping 80,000 retail stores are estimated to close in the next five years as the virus pandemic has deeply scarred the economy and resulted in a permanent shift in how consumers shop, that is, online.
“An enduring legacy of the pandemic is that online penetration rose sharply,” wrote Lasser.
“We expect that it will continue to increase, which will drive further rationalization of retail stores, especially as some of the unique support measures from the government subside,” he said.
UBS found at the end of 2020, there were 115,000 shopping malls, compared with 112,000 in 2010 and 90,000 in 2000.
Lasser said that equates to approximately 59 square feet of shopping center space per U.S. household, less than 62 square feet in 2010. That number is expected to plunge by 2026 as online shopping dominates.
UBS estimates 9% of all retail stores will shutter operations by 2026, or about 80,000 retail stores. – READ MORE
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