One month ago, Zero Hedge reported that barely a quarter into 2017, (annualized) year-to-date retail store closings have already surpassed those of 2008.
According to the Swiss bank’s calculations, approximately 2,880 store closings were announced YTD, more than twice as many closings as the 1,153 announced during the same period last year.
Historically, roughly 60% of store closure announcements occur in the first five months of the year. But CS estimates that there could be more than 8,640 store closings this year, which will be higher than the historical 2008 peak of approximately 6,200 store closings.
Not only is that striking news, but also, retail space is dramatically decreasing and a dozen large retailers have filed for bankruptcy, Zero Hedge reports.
On a square footage basis, approximately 49 million square feet of retail space has closed YTD. Should this pace persist by the end of the year, total square footage reductions could reach 147M square feet – or just over 5 square miles – another all time high, and surpassing the historical peak of 115M in 2001.
Furthermore, according to a recent WSJ analysis, at least 10 retailers, including Payless ShoeSource, hhgregg, The Limited, RadioShack, BCBG, Wet Seal, Gormans, Eastern Outfitters, and Gander Mountain had filed for bankruptcy protection through the end of April, which compares with nine retailers that declared bankruptcy for all of 2016. All of the companies in bankruptcy have announced plans to shutter some if not most of their stores.
Then after taking a brief one month hiatus retailer bankruptcies resumed last Monday, when struggling teen clothing retailer Rue21 became the last to filed a prepackaged Chapter 11 petition in Pennsylvania bankruptcy court, listing both prepetition assets and liabilities between $1 and $10 billion.
Rating agency Fitch has also revised its “retail concern list,” which is a compilation of issuers with a significant risk of default within the next 12 months:
- Sears Holdings
- Nine West Holdings
- 99 Cents Only Stores
- True Religion Apparel
- Charlotte Russe
- Charming Charlie
- NYDJ Apparel
- Claire’s Stores
- Chinos Intermediate Holdings (J Crew Group)
Perhaps the most interesting factoid that comes with these huge changes in shopping is that the market cap of Amazon is more than 8 times the value of the entire US department store index…
It seems that while retail stores are inevitably going out of business left and right, Amazon is not going anywhere anytime soon.
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