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Retail Has More Positive Landscape in 2017

Convenience stores are among the top retailers opening more stores this year.
September 13, 2017

​FRANKLIN, Tenn. – More retail stores will open than close this year, according to a new report by IHL Group, Forbes reports. Many of the store closures have made headlines, with Radio Shack’s bankruptcy forcing the shuttering of a thousand locations and the financial woes of Kmart, Sears and JC Penney lopping off 158, 202 and 138 stores, respectively. The other companies closing the most number of stores are mostly fashion-related.

“It’s more fair to say that technology accelerated the decline of retailers who have not been in touch with what their consumers wanted as much as their competitors. Technology helps consumers see more of what's available and that makes the comparison between brands so much more stark and apparent,” wrote Forbes contributor Richard Kestenbaum.

However, the bright side is that store openings will dominate, rather than store closings. The top 16 companies in store openings with open more than 4,100 new locations collectively this year include Dollar General (1,290) and Dollar Tree (650) at the top, followed by 7-Eleven (412) and Couche-Tard (318) in the third and fourth slots, respectively. Casey’s is the only other convenience store chain to make the top 16, coming in at number 12 with 100 new store openings in 2017.

“The data highlight changing lifestyles and tastes. Fashion is less important in physical retail stores,” Kestenbaum wrote. “The discounters and convenience store openings are opening in a big way and the fashion retailers are closing almost as fast.”

The takeaway for today’s retails is that “consumers haven't gone into hiding and they're not spending less. They're spending more and there are more new stores — but tastes have changed,” he said the article. “Organizations now need to be able to process new ideas at a rate that's faster and more efficient than ever before. … It's not enough just to have something new, it has to keep evolving.”