According to a new report, US retailers may close tens of thousands of stores even after the epidemic subsides as shoppers continue to turn to e-commerce.
Nearly one in every 11 stores will close in the next five years, with և office supplies, sportswear և clothing retailers suffering the most, according to a UBS analysis on Monday. In the worst-case scenario, more than twice as many stores, totaling about 150,000, could be closed during that time.
“The legacy of the epidemic is that online penetration has grown dramatically,” wrote UBS analyst Michael Lasser in the report. “We expect it to continue to grow.”
US stores have focused on online operations as the COVID-19 epidemic has forced physical locations to close temporarily. Even after the reopening, visitors were returning slowly, և stores were rushing to offer services such as curb և virtual shopping so that consumers could buy again. Pedestrian traffic in shopping malls fell by about 30% from a year earlier, according to Green Street Real Estate.
Last year, more than two dozen major retailers went bankrupt, including JC Penney և Lord & Taylor’s household names.
According to a report by UBS, stores that sell clothing, home electronics and home furnishings are likely to be the most closed, with 35,000 combined. Office suppliers are expected to see the largest share of the impact, with 45% of store chains expected to close. Shopping malls are likely to be the main source of closure.
Analysts have found that only auto parts retailers hold about the same amount of space, with each store selling at an all-time high in the third quarter. These stores are more secure than digital versions, as they are often needed directly by customers և offer services that need to be done in person.