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The year 2019 wasn’t as promising as in the past years for a lot of American retailers according to CNN business. This is despite having a good market and healthy economy. 

This year, American retailers announced 9,300 stores were closing. That is a massive jump of 59% from the past year. This is the highest number since 2012 as reported by Coresight Research. The bankruptcy is more intense this year, and a lot of chain stores are struggling. This is why there is this big leap in closings of these retail stores. 

Payless, Gymboree, Shopko, Charlotte Russe are among others that filed for bankruptcy. The total stores closed from these chain stores add up to 3,720 as per Coresight Research’s  review. Most of these stores are from Payless. The company filed its second bankruptcy early this year, February, and closed a whooping 2,100 store branches.

Fred’s  discount chain also filed for bankruptcy in the third quarter of the year and closed a total of 564 stores. Furthermore, the famous Forever 21 stores also filed for bankruptcy in the same month as Fred’s . It will be closing 178 stores, but the final report is not yet out.

Other retailers like Family Dollar, GNC (GNC), Walgreens (WBA), Signet Jewelers, Ann Taylor Parent Ascena Retail, Victoria’s Secret and JCPenney (JCP ), made some slash from their store footprints to save money and invest on high performing branches. Ascena Retail closed 781 stores, Gymboree closed 749, Fred’s  closed 564, Shopko closed 371, Family Dollar 359, GNC closed 332, Charming Charlie closed 261, Avenue closed 222, Sears closed 210, Destination Maternity closed 210, Gap closed 154, Samuels Jewelers closed 122, Footlocker closed 108, GameStop closed 106.

There could be thousands more closing in the next years as online shopping has become so popular and it is on its way to replacing physical stores. High debt levels and rent also are significant factors that are eating up the traditional retailers. 

It is foreseen that 75,000 stores will be closing in 2026. There will be 20,000 clothing stores and 10,000 electronics stores of which will close. Home furnishing and sporting goods will also be narrowing down as online shopping expands very quickly.

Big retailers like Walmart and Best Buy are even thriving as they also close some of their stores but also opening some. Big department stores like Kohls and Nordstrom are also closing a few of their branches. 

The start of the week proved to be bad for the stocks of Macy’s , with a loss of 49% while Gap, Kohl’ Kohli’s and Nordstrom are in the bottom 20.

According to analyst Christina Boni “Despite a very favorable consumer spending environment, department stores have yet to catch a break.”

There were some opening this year, 4,392 to be exact as per Coresight’s report. The discount sector, like the Dollar General opened 975 stores. According to its General CEO, We continue to believe we operate in one of the most attractive industries in retail.” He added that they would be adding 1,000 stores next year.

Online brands will soon open stores, gyms and fitness are sprouting everywhere, pop-up stores continue to be a popular tool and some malls are benefitting from the Generation Zers so there could still be big hopes for the brick and mortar enterprises.

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Abhishek is associated with PressReels and team for a long time as an Author and has a keen interest in sharing news and leaks related to technology.

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