Come again? 2017 was a terrible year for retail?

Thursday, November 2, 2017
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

retail store sceneA recent news report heralding the "record year" for store closings in the U.S. is being challenged for apparently not taking into account the fact that thousands of stores opened during that same year.

According to CNN, more stores have closed this year than any year on record. Retailers have announced plans to shutter more than 6,700 stores in the U.S. As the report points out, that beats the previous record – 6,163 closings – set in 2008 during the financial meltdown. As one might expect, online shopping is being blamed.

But Mark Matthews, vice president of research at the National Retail Federation (NRF), argues that online shopping is retail. He adds that there have been a lot of store openings this year.

"One of the broadest studies I've seen of retail store closures was done by IHL group, and they basically came up with a number that over 4,000 more stores are opening in 2017 than are closing," he says.

"That certainly is a number that I'm more comfortable with," Matthews adds, "because it's selecting from a much broader group of retailers and not just a few large publicly traded companies, some of whom are having challenging times."

The IHL report he references – titled "Debunking the Retail Apocalypse" – was released at the end of August. In introducing that report, IHL president Greg Buzek stated that the "negative narrative ... about the death of retail is patently false." Their research also points out that 16 chain outlets accounted for almost half of the closings.

Earlier OneNewsNow story (September 5, 2017):
Yes, retail is still alive

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