Store Openings Outpace Closures So Far This Year, With Dollar General Leading the Way in Growth

Store openings this year are outpacing closures, widening the gap from the same period in 2021.

The 4,283 announced store openings year-to-date as of June 24 significantly outpaced the 1,766 announced store closures, according to recent data from Coresight Research’s U.S. Store Tracker Extra for June 2022. These closures and openings are expected to result in a net gain of 44.1 million square feet of new retail space.

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In the same period in 2021, there were 4,554 announced closures and 4,130 announced openings in the comparable period of 2021.

Among the major companies announcing closures this year are Aerie, Athleta, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dollar General, Hibbett Sports, Old Navy, Foot Locker, Skechers, Nordstrom and Macy’s. Many of these retailers also announced store openings as well in 2022, leading to an overall net gain in their store fleets.

Additionally, various department store retailers have also announced plans for smaller, more-efficient store locations. Target announced a plan to open 30 small-format to midsize locations across city centers in the U.S. throughout 2022, to further engage with consumers in various neighborhoods. Macy’s has tested a similar strategy via its smaller-format Market by Macy’s concept stores in Texas. DSW has also rolled out a revamped store of the future “Warehouse Reimagined” model which consolidates the retailer’s 20,000 to 25,000 square foot-stores into more efficient 15,000 square-foot locations.

The gain in retail stores thus far correlates with a general uptick in foot traffic and demand for in-person shopping. In Q1, Macy’s CEO and chairman Jeff Gennette said sales were affected by a category shift to more occasion-based apparel and shoes. This rapid shift bolstered in-store foot traffic, with more people willing to come buy occasion items in person. And according to a spring report from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the amount of time between unoccupied leases is improving across certain high-traffic retail sectors in Manhattan.

Overall, apparel retailers accounted for 33% of closures in June 2022, year-to-date. Discount chains represented 45% of total opening announcements.

Dollar General, which announced 1,102 planned store openings, topped the list of retailers with the most opening announcements in 2022. It also announced 25 closures and currently operates around 18,000 stores in the U.S.

The dollar chain in December announced updates to its ambitious store expansion, with plans to open 1,000 new Popshelf concept stores by 2025. Dollar General initially planned to launch roughly 30 Popshelf units in various markets across the United States by the end of the 2021 fiscal year. (Popshelf stores offer accessories, decor, cosmetics, household supplies and more, mostly priced at $5 or less as opposed to sticking to a strict limit of $1.)

In March, Dollar General said it plans to create as many as 10,000 new jobs in 2022 through expected new stores and distribution centers. Dollar General also plans to expand internationally for the first time by opening 10 stores in Mexico by the end of fiscal 2022.

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