At the start of 2014, news of store closings by the largest U.S. retail industry chains accelerated not because the U.S. retail industry as a whole is in crisis, but because certain retail chains in particular have found it difficult or impossible to compete in a fast-moving, ultra-competitive global retailing environment. The roundup of retailers closing underperforming locations or going bankrupt in 2014 is small compared to the past, but it is not insignificant to the future of U.S. retailing.
Many experts believe that 2014 retail store closings are still due in large part to the overgrowth of the U.S. retail industry even before the U.S. Great Recession occurred. According to the 2007 Economic Census, there were 1,122,703 retail establishments in the United States and a total of 14.2 billion square feet of retail space. That means that there is approximately 46.6 square feet of retail space per capita in the U.S., compared to two square feet per capita in India, 1.5 square feet per capita in Mexico, 23 square feet per capita in the United Kingdom, 13 square feet per capita in Canada, and 6.5 square feet per capita in Australia.
With the explosive growth of Internet and mobile shopping, the oversaturation of physical retail locations operated by the largest U.S. retail chains becomes even more obvious. Downsizing the size of physical retail stores and the number of retail stores is a significant trend in U.S. retailing and it is a trend that will undoubtedly continue throughout 2014 and beyond.
U.S. consumers are, in a sense, in charge of physical store closings. With their online and mobile shopping behaviors U.S. consumers are casting their vote for which retail store experiences have value and which ones can be easily replaced by their own Internet and mobile counterparts. In response to these strong consumer preference shifts, many large, medium, and small retail chains will be closing physical retail store locations in 2014 because they can't justify the dwindling sales per square footage results they produce. The era of if-you-build-it-they-will-come retailing seems to have ended for the U.S. retail industry.What follows is a complete, updated, and ongoing list of U.S. retail chains that are closing underperforming retail locations, downsizing, or going out of business in the 2014 calendar year. Share This Story | Trending Retail Topics | Newest Articles & Updates
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