America could be losing slightly less than 150 million square feet in retail space by the time this year draws to a close. This is the alarming fact revealed by Credit Suisse and the numbers are, sadly, not exaggerated at all given the pace at which stores have been shutting down in the recent past in the country. Shopping Malls that used to be thriving and bustling with activity now lie abandoned and many have been earmarked for demolition while many others await the same fate in the near future. The trend is rather clear- Americans are moving away from the mall culture that has been the retail seller's mainstay for gaining market exposure for ages now.
Many well-known retailers have shut shop
What do Staples, JC Penny, and Bebe all have in common? Well, nothing good, that's for sure. All of these retailers shut down shop in the year 2017 and that's not the end of the story. They have just been the latest in a string of close down that America has been witnessing in the recent years. Store closures are not unheard of and every year, it is quite common to hear of some fairly known brand closing down. But the alarming fact here is that big names have been forced to shut shop too and that's not all either. Numbers indicate that 2017 may be a year when the retail segment witnesses many more shutdowns than ever before. Credit Suisse has put out some number to make the scenario clearer. The agency says that over 8600 physical storefronts may close down this year. To put things in perspective, this number is far higher than the 6163 stores that shut down during the worst of the recession in 2008. 2008 is, by the way, the worst year for retail, until now but 2017 seems to be well on the way to clinching this dubious distinction.
The major reason for the challenging times that retailers are facing is the growing popularity of virtual stores like Amazon that make shopping seamless, easy and also very affordable. These virtual stores enjoy several economies thanks to their ability to circumvent the need for physical locations and their attendant costs. Retailers who have failed to get onto the internet bandwagon with a full- fledged online retail storefront may continue to face big troubles in the times ahead.