REFERENCE: "America's Retailers Are Closing Stores Faster Than Ever"
Lindsey Rupp, Laurn Coleman-Lochner, Nick Turner, April 7, 2017, Bloomberg
High -end to low-end, the closings continue - the authors point to Payless filing for bankruptcy and closing hundreds of stores, while Ralph Lauren Corp closes its New York store. The biggest immediate hurt seems to be to shopping malls, where many communities and small towns will have to re-purpose, close, or lower rent and revenue. The Department of Labor reports 30,000 retail positions were lost in March alone, the same as February.
Chain officers speculate that malls added too many stores, many selling the same thing: apparel. They talk about a "bubble" that will suffer a brutal contraction. That may be, but increasingly the loss of retail industry business is growing, and at an increasing rate - and not just for apparel. Here in April the authors find that the high-end malls seemed safe. Watch for summer news - the disconnecting force here may be far more disruptive and structural - digital, virtual shopping, led by het friendly, convenient services of Amazon.