Expect More Store Closings Despite Big Holiday Sales

by MR Magazine Staff

In a sign of how dramatically the landscape is changing when it comes to shopping, experts say don’t expect any let up in store closings in 2017 just because retailers just had biggest growth in holiday sales in five years. Consumers finally opened their wallets, making purchases on everything from toys to apparel. But a record amount of the spending for the season went to online sellers. And when the droves eventually showed up in stores, much of the foot traffic was driven by discounting. Promotions are great for shoppers, but not terribly profitable business for those who own traditional stores. “This was a fantastic shopping season, but for many department store and apparel retailers, this was a very challenging holiday,” says Steven Barr, retail consumer leader for consultants PwC. “I anticipate we will see significant numbers of store closures.” Macy’s, for instance, has already announced it will close about 100 stores in 2017 — and is yet to specify the locations. The closings will amount to about 15% of Macy’s 675 full-line locations. Other department store chains may follow suit. Yet the switch comes at a time when retailing, as a whole, is shining. Read more at USA Today.