Store closings in the first half of 2019 have surpassed total store closures last year — and the second half of the year doesn’t look much better, a new report found.
The report from BDO USA, a professional services firm, found that retailers across a range of sizes and scale announced a combined 7,282 stores would be shuttering so far this year, outpacing last year’s less than 6,000 store closures.
More retail bankruptcy filings are expected in the second half of the year, and bricks-and-mortar stores will continue to close at a higher rate, according to the report.
“We’re going to see this trend continue,” David Berliner, who leads the business restructuring and turnaround services practice of BDO, told the Wall Street Journal.
“I don’t think the pace of the bankruptcy filings will be as large as it was in the first half,” he added.
A total of 12,000 stores are expected to shutter in 2019, according to the report.
The firm attributed the spike in store closures and bankruptcies to a flat 2018 holiday shopping season, as well as the tariffs the Trump administration imposed on Chinese imports, the government shutdown that dragged into 2019 and smaller tax refunds, the Journal reported.
The lackluster season contributed to 10 retailers filing for bankruptcy in the first three months of 2019, including Payless, Gymboree, and Charlotte Russe. That led to a total of nearly 3,700 store closures, the firm found.
Apparel specialty stores accounted for 36% of store closures for the first six months of the year, an uptick from 14% in all of 2018. Footwear retailers, meanwhile, made up 28% of store closures, up from 8% last year, the report found.
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