Announced Store Closings in 2021 Approach an All-Time Low
Despite rising cases of breakthrough coronavirus infections and the resulting uncertainty over the efficacy of current vaccines against variants, the retail property market shows impressive signs of recovery at year-end.
Also, perhaps even more encouraging, the amount of space and number of stores retailers said they plan to open during 2021 is well above announced store closings, the first time that has happened since 2014. As of mid-December, just over 3,300 stores have been announced for closing, accounting for 37 million square feet of retail space. At the same time, retailers have announced more than 5,800 store openings, accounting for 53 million square feet.
Retail trends, such as announced store closings, will be important for retail owners and investors to track as obstacles and uncertainty are still present in the market. While metrics such as foot traffic and retail sales are useful, they are backward-looking. Tracking announced store closings and openings can shed light on future retail demand, which can be valuable in predicting the future health of the market.
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