Feb 3, 2022 - Economy & Business

Store closures plummeted after the holiday shopping season

 Warby Parker has talked about opening 700 more physical stores in the coming years. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images
Warby Parker has talked about opening 700 more physical stores in the coming years. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

The number of permanent store closures in the aftermath of the holiday shopping season has plummeted, compared to the same period last year.

Why it matters: The plunge comes at a time when many stores historically close up shop, indicating the holiday season buoyed a sector that was facing an existential crisis earlier in the pandemic.

  • Retailers announced 742 store closures Jan. 1–28, down 65% from the same period in 2021, according to a new report by Coresight Research, which tracks retail closings.

Yes, but: One reason for fewer closures in 2022 is that so many shops closed in 2020 and early 2021, with major bankruptcies including JCPenney, Neiman Marcus and Brooks Brothers.

Meanwhile: The data comes as e-commerce companies and online direct-to-consumer brands have launched brick-and-mortar store strategies.

  • Online eyeglass retailer Warby Parker has talked about opening 700 more physical stores in the coming years, while Amazon is launching its first-ever physical apparel store later this year in Los Angeles.

What we're watching: Whether the wave of store closures has truly slowed, and whether retailers have found a new balance in their online and brick-and-mortar strategies.

Go deeper