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2021 On Track To Have Fewest Retail Closures In Recent Years
Poof! The last of the Disney stores will disappear from the Hudson Valley.
The last remaining full-size Disney Store, an outlet location in Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, is set to close “on or before Sept. 15.”
The company announced in March that at least 60 Disney stores would close in North America this year. Among those listed in the roughly 40 stores that closed in or before March was the last lower Hudson Valley location in The Palisades Center. The company said in March that it was reducing the number of stores to focus on its e-commerce business.
Rockland and the Hudson Valley have witnessed a tsunami of store closures over the past few years – a national trend that reflects a migration to online shopping as well as mall fatigue.
Now, however, the threshold on store closures may have peaked.
This year is on track to have the least amount of retail stores closing up shop in more than a decade, a huge improvement from the record number of closures last year, according to CoStar Group data.
CoStar expects the U.S. to see about 40 million square feet of store closures nationwide, a dramatic decrease from the record 160 million square feet that shuttered last year, and the lowest amount since CoStar started tracking the metric in 2008.
Analysts say the drop in closures can be attributed to the rebound in consumer spending in retail shops, perhaps fueled by stimulus money as well as a belief that the coronavirus pandemic has faded or that it is simply safer to be out and about because a percentage of people are vaccinated.
However, one explanation for a slowdown in closures is that so many retailers have already closed a significant number of locations last year, leaving the most viable outposts in operation.
And as the pace of store closings ebbs, some brands are opening new outposts.
While Disney is shuttering 60 of its full-size retail locations, Target plans to open more than 100 Disney shops inside its stores.
In April, store openings outpaced closures, as retailers took advantage of high vacancies and lower rents, with discount chains Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Five Below driving most of that, according to a report from Coresight Research.
Off-price clothing store Burlington — which has seen a huge amount of foot traffic recently — plans to open 1,000 smaller-format stores nationwide.
Amazon is reportedly planning to open retail shops of around 30,000 square feet.
Still, brick-and-mortar retail is still battling its nemesis: e-commerce. Add to that the uncertainties around the delta variant, which is sending the country in the wrong direction in terms of getting people back to work and getting back to normal. While retail sales dropped by 1.1 percent last month, something many attributed to the delta variant, it is unclear whether that impact has yet been felt in brick-and-mortar stores.