Store closing are already shaping up to be a big story in 2014, but while many are surprised by these closing, I don’t see it that way. In fact, I think this is exactly what we should expect from an industry in transition. Stores are constantly trying to realign themselves and do away with under-performing locations in favor of new locations in up-and-coming areas. On a broader note, this also plays into the continuing effort of stores to move to smaller footprints. In this edition of Retail Rap, I take a look at this early trend and what it means for the industry throughout the rest of the year and into 2015.
What has raised some eyebrows is not just that so many closings have already been announced, but that the list of brands shutting down locations includes some of the industry’s most iconic and familiar names: from JC Penney to Target, and from Macy’s to Barnes & Noble. In the case of Barnes & Noble, along with brands like Sears, the closures include some flagship stores both in the U.S. and around the world. It’s true that there are some chains that are expanding (as I mentioned in my last column, store openings are projected to be up 1.2% this year) but, overall, this will be a year of repositioning the retailer’s portfolios.
Check out the full article from my recurring column, Retail Rap, at Chain Store Age.