Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Avalanche of store closings coming, study says
By SANDRA GUY sguy@suntimes.com writing in the Chicago Sun-Times

As many as 10,000 retail stores will close nationwide this year, led by clothing stores, electronics and food-and-beverage stores, and department stores, in that order, a study released Tuesday shows.
If the forecast holds, the store closings this year will be nearly double that of last year, when store closings stood at 5,100, said Sandra Reese, a principal at Grant Thornton LLP's offices in Chicago. Last year, the biggest store closings occurred in electronics, followed by home improvement-furnishings stores and in third place, apparel stores.

"It's been amazing to me how, in conversations, everyone from the low-end to the high-end shopper is cutting back on spending and not spending on lavish purchases," Reese said.
The study could offer no local numbers for Chicago, but did show that clothing-store closings are expected to soar 270 percent, to 3,000 store closings this year from a year ago, while department store closings are expected to increase 61 percent, to 422, this year.

Though bookstores represented only a fraction of the total, their closings are forecast to jump 500 percent from last year, to 400 stores.

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