Just the Beginning: Big Store Closures Number in the Thousands

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RadioShack was one of the first to go. Then, A & P and American Apparel. Sears followed a year later. And now, Payless Shoes.

These are just a few of the companies that have closed their shops and their doors because of the so-called Retail Store Apocalypse. The event has its roots in 2015, but it didn’t hit critical mass until sometime in 2017. Despite the thousands of closed stores, according to market researchers, the Apocalypse has barely started.

Businesses have shuttered more stores in the United States from January to April of 2019 than in the entirety of 2018. If the predictions are accurate, Chapter 11 and Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney salt lake city to New York City are going to have their hands full over the next five years.

The Signs of the Apocalypse

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The main cause of the Retail Store Apocalypse is the advent of e-commerce networks titans, like Amazon. As these ventures thrived and improved, they became more convenient for American consumers.  After all, the clothes and products for sale in retail stores and malls are almost all online. And someone can purchase them from the comfort of their home or even over lunch, without driving over to the nearest boutique or outlet mall and waiting in line.

Recent figures indicate that in 2018, Amazon raked in an additional $35 billion in retail sales from all over America. That capital is worth roughly about 7,700 stores.  During the same year, 5,864 retail stores closed up shop in the United States.

One of the first major casualties of the burgeoning Apocalypse was RadioShack. The electronics retailer went broke in March 2015, unable to keep up with online businesses. The same year, grocery store Company Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea, or A & P, filed a second bankruptcy in five years.  One of the last major closures of 2015 was American Apparel.  Although it would remain open, by November of the following year, it would file for bankruptcy once more.

Since then, dozens of brands have closed up shop. The Apocalypse spared no one, shutting down businesses from almost every field of commerce. Jewelers, footwear, trinkets, clothing, and mattresses; no one was safe.

And if market research predictions and analytics are right, these are only the tip of the iceberg.

Darker Days Ahead for Retail Establishmentsutahdebtcare.com

Sales from e-commerce are still on the rise, and the storm is far from abating. In the United States, 5,994 retail stores closed in the first four months of 2019, more than the total number of closures in the whole of 2018.

Analysts theorize that e-commerce sales will continue to grow, from 16 percent of total retail sales to 25 percent by 2026. That would cause about 75,000 retail shops to shut their doors. They predict that clothing retailers will suffer the most, with 17 percent of clothing stores in the United States, or 21,000 locations, shutting down by 2026. They won’t go alone: researchers expect some 10,000 electronics stores and 8,000 home furnishing shops to join them in their demise.

Things may seem bleak, but as old businesses shut down, opportunities and jobs sprout up in the industries that take their place. A cunning and resourceful individual or organization can learn to take advantage of the changing vistas of retail. For now, the Retail Apocalypse rages on, but the promise of a new business paradigm waits on the other side of the storm.

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