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A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
« on: January 22, 2014, 05:49:05 PM »
http://www.cnbc.com/id/101353168

A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
 
 Published: Wednesday, 22 Jan 2014 | 12:58 PM ET
By: Krystina Gustafson   |

 Get ready for the next era in retail—one that will be characterized by far fewer shops and smaller stores.

On Tuesday, Sears said that it will shutter its flagship store in downtown Chicago in April. It's the latest of about 300 store closures in the U.S. that Sears has made since 2010. The news follows announcements earlier this month of multiple store closings from major department stores J.C. Penney and Macy's.

Further signs of cuts in the industry came Wednesday, when Target said that it will eliminate 475 jobs worldwide, including some at its Minnesota headquarters, and not fill 700 empty positions.

Experts said these headlines are only the tip of the iceberg for the industry, which is set to undergo a multiyear period of shuttering stores and trimming square footage.

Shoppers will likely see an average decrease in overall retail square footage of between one-third and one-half within the next five to 10 years, as a shift to e-commerce brings with it fewer mall visits and a lesser need to keep inventory stocked in-store, said Michael Burden, a principal with Excess Space Retail Services.

"I believe we're going to hear a lot more announcements in the coming months," Burden said. It's "an indication that there is a shift in the retail environment and it's one that will continue."


January is typically a busy month for retailers to announce store closings. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, 44 percent of annual store closings announced since 2010 have occurred in the first quarter. But this year's closings are likely indicative of a new trend, sparked by more and more shoppers turning to the Web, experts said.

This holiday, online spending increased by 10 percent on desktop devices—a number that will likely grow another 2 percentage points when factoring in the role of mobile devices, according to data tracker comScore. Paired with a compressed holiday shopping calendar and a spate of freezing weather across much of the U.S., online shopping contributed to a nearly 15 percent decline in foot traffic this past holiday season, according to ShopperTrak.

"Stores are making a long-term bet on technology," said Belus Capital Advisors analyst Brian Sozzi. "It simply doesn't make strategic sense to enter a new 15-year lease as consumers are likely to continue curtailing physical visits to the mall."

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Offline happyg

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Re: A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2014, 08:53:55 PM »
People will be begging for minimum wage jobs before all the closings happen. Prices will go sky high with little or no competition.

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Re: A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2014, 10:00:26 PM »
I visited a DSW shoe store yesterday, but the style I wanted was not in stock, in my size.

They SHOULD have an online kiosk in the store, where I could order, pay, and get delivery to home at no cost.

They do have a good online system, so why not extend it right into the stores?

Online Oceander

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Re: A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 10:52:52 PM »
People will be begging for minimum wage jobs before all the closings happen. Prices will go sky high with little or no competition.

The problem isn't a dearth of competition, it's a surplus of competition - although I'd hardly call that a "problem."  The bite of online competition is really beginning to be felt in mainline retailing now.  About the only real edges that brick-n-mortar stores have over online stores are (a) impulse buyers, (b) buyers who have to have it now and can't even wait for a 2-3 day delivery, and (c) you can at least take a look at what you're thinking about buying before you have to commit to buying it.

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 07:32:02 AM »
The minimum-wage hike (EDIT: in many states) is the cause of most of this. Retailers have two choices: raise prices, or cut jobs-- just like in 2009, they've chosen to cut jobs.

I lost hours at my job because of it.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 11:17:58 AM by jmyrlefuller »
"Just because people in positions of authority are stupid, it doesn’t mean you have to go along with it." —Arlo Guthrie

Online Oceander

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Re: A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 10:41:28 AM »
The minimum-wage hike is the cause of most of this. Retailers have two choices: raise prices, or cut jobs-- just like in 2009, they've chosen to cut jobs.

I lost hours at my job because of it.

I'd be interested in knowing how many of these cuts are going to be of full-time positions.  My guess is that retailers have been slowly cutting back on full timers in order to reduce the Obamacare penalties, but without it being obvious that that's what they're doing, and that they'll also just as slowly start replacing them with part timers.

Offline mountaineer

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Re: A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 01:27:11 PM »
Online clothing shopping is dandy, except for things like shoes and pants. There's no way I can purchase such items without first trying them on.  :shrug:
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Re: A 'tsunami' of store closings expected to hit retail
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2014, 09:14:20 PM »
Online clothing shopping is dandy, except for things like shoes and pants. There's no way I can purchase such items without first trying them on.  :shrug:

My wife has mastered the art of online clothes shopping.  When she finds something she likes, she orders it in at least 3 sizes.  When they come, she finds the one that fits and then returns the others.  There are many stores that allow you to return online purchases to their brick-and-mortar stores, which means you don't pay shipping to return the sizes that didn't fit.


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