Five Merchants Opening Stores for Every One Retailer Closing Locations


Franklin, TN — For every retailer closing stores in 2019, five others are opening locations, according to research and advisory company IHL Services, Inc. The number of chains adding stores increased 56 percent this year, while the number of store closures has fallen 66 percent during the past year.

Food, drug, c-store and mass merchants are leading the charge in terms of openings, with nearly 10 locations popping up for every one retail outlet that closes, according to IHL.

Overall, 64 percent of retailers are increasing store counts this year, while just 12 percent report decreases, IHL reports. Nearly a quarter, 24 percent, of merchants report store counts remaining static during 2019.

“U.S. retail has increased $565 billion in sales since January of 2017, fed not just by online sales growth but net store sales growth,” says Lee Holman, vice-president of research for IHL. “Clearly there is significant pressure in apparel and department stores, however, in every single retail segment there are more chains that are expanding their number of stores than closing stores.”

The research company reports too much debt and rapid over-expansion driven by historically low interest rates during the past 10 years are the two leading factors to store closings.