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Store Closures Could Reach More Than 12,000 In U.S. Before End Of 2019

As of Aug. 2, there’s been 27 percent more store closures in 2019 than in 2018.

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As many retailers have shuttered their stores, filed for bankruptcy or reduced its retail footprint, analysts at Coresight Research predict that the store closure number could reach more than 12,000 before 2019 is over. As of Aug. 2, there’s been 27 percent more store closures in 2019 than in 2018, according to USA Today.

Coresight Research tracks store closures in the U.S. and U.K. As of Aug. 2 in the U.S., store closures for 2019 have surpassed the previous year’s total store closures. U.S. retailers have announced more than 7,567 store closures and 3,064 store closures compared to 5,864 closures and 3,258 openings for all of 2018.

Some of the bigger retailers to close stores recently include Fred’s, which announced it would close an additional 129 stores to the 263 it planned to close July 12. According to CNBC, Fred’s will only have about 80 stores and 166 pharmacies operating after the closures.

Another big boost in the store closure numbers includes clothing store Charming Charlies, which announced July 12 it chose to close all 261 of its store locations after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. The company had stores across 38 states, and this was the second time it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to Fox Business.

“In 2017, there were 390 Charming Charlie stores in the U.S., Canada, the Philippines and the Middle East, according to Fortune,” Fox Business reported. “As part of its earlier bankruptcy filing, which ended in April 2018, the company closed 100 stores. Stores have already started going out of business sales.”

Additionally, Lowe’s announced it would lay off thousands of workers, according to CNBC. The company plans to outsource jobs of maintenance and assembly workers to third-party companies to assemble products such as wheelbarrows and grills, CNBC reported.

“We are moving to third-party assemblers and facility services to allow Lowe’s store associates to spend more time on the sales floor serving customers. Associates who were in these positions will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe’s,” the company said in a statement to CNBC.

USA Today reported that Payless Shoes closing its remaining stores in June accounted for about 37 percent of the total closures.

“The record year for closings was 2017, with 8,139 shuttered stores, Coresight found,” USA Today reported. “This included an earlier round of Payless closings, the entire HHGregg electronics and appliance chain, and hundreds of Sears and Kmart stores.”

The company plans to outsource jobs of maintenance and assembly workers to third-party companies. The assembly workers put together products such as wheelbarrows and grills.
“We are moving to third-party assemblers and facility services to allow Lowe’s store associates to spend more time on the sales floor serving customers. Associates who were in these positions will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe’s,” the company said in a statement to CNBC.