Even before the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country, many U.S. retailers were struggling to keep their doors open in the face of competition from online shopping. And now with the virus forcing business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders? It’s little surprise that 2020 has been a year filled with retail bankruptcies and store closures.
According to the latest data from CoStar Group, more than 40 major retailers have declared bankruptcy in 2020. And more than 11,000 stores have been slated for closure this year, totaling nearly 150 million square feet of retail space. Store closings on a square foot basis are nearing a record set in 2018.
Many retailers were already struggling with ecommerce. During the pandemic, online shopping has only grown as many consumers remain uncomfortable shopping at malls, dining inside restaurants or seeing movies inside theaters.
This combination of soaring ecommerce, wary shoppers and government-mandated restrictions and shutdowns has led to a disastrous 2020 for many retailers.
The news from CoStar wasn’t all bad. Retail tenants in major southern growth markets, including Nashville, have seen retail foot traffic fall by a lesser amount during the pandemic.
Some of the major retailers that have filed for bankruptcy so far this year include Guita Center, Stein Mart, Lord & Taylor, Neiman Marcus, J. Crew, Lucky Brand, J.C. Penney, California Pizza Kitchen and Brooks Brothers.