Charting the Progress of Survival : Existing Stores Progress
2007 – 2008 vs. 2015 – 2016
In what’s considered by many as the ‘Retail Apocalypse,’ retail store closings in 2019 are on pace to exceed closings in 2018. According to a report from investment banking firm UBS, an estimated 75,000 stores that sell clothing, electronics and furniture will close by 2026.
This is the final factoid in a series of five factoids that studies a March 2019 report from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics of U.S. Business, shining the light on challenges furniture and home furnishings stores have faced over the last 10+ years and continue to face going forward.
Although the shakeout continues, the stores left standing (existing stores) are showing signs of some stabilization. Comparing an annual employment growth from 2007 to 2016, progress is tracked in terms of whether existing stores grew employment, lost workers, had stable employment, or closed their doors by year end. There are two important positive outcomes from this comparison. First, the number of stores increasing employees or with stable employment increased from 54.7% of the total existing stores at the beginning of 2007 to 70.9% by 2016. Also, the percent of existing stores that closed was almost cut in half in 2016 versus 2007, 6.6% closed (2016) compared to 12.8% (2007).
The percentage of existing home furnishings stores that closed by year end has decreased from 11.5% in 2007 to 7.7% in 2016. While the percent of existing home furnishings stores open at year end decreasing in employee size has fallen 5.2 points to 25.6% in 2016, the percent of existing stores open at year end increasing in employee size has grown slightly by 0.6 points to 24.8%.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Statistics of U.S. Businesses, Business Information Tracking Series