While overall retail sales in the United States have rebounded relatively quickly following an unprecedented dip due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some retail categories are still trailing 2019 sales levels by a significant margin halfway through 2020. Sales of clothing and accessories stores for example have been almost 40 percent lower in the first six months of 2020 compared to the previous year, with electronics retailers and bookstores also heavily hit by the pandemic.
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The temporary freeze in consumer spending as well as the gradual shift to online shopping accelerated by stay-at-home orders could turn out to be the final nail in the coffin of many struggling retailers. According to estimates from Coresight Research, a market intelligence company focusing on the retail industry, retail store closures could spike this year, with the company’s latest forecast predicting 20,000 to 25,000 stores to shutter this year.
This chart shows the number of retail store closures in the United States.
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