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Store openings on track to exceed store closings

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May 20, 2024
Illustration of a strip mall dominated by Dollar General signs

Dollar General is projected to open 819 locations this year, the most of any retailer. Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Store openings will likely outpace store closings for a third consecutive year as 2024's midpoint approaches, per data provided by Coresight Research.

Why it matters: New locations are an indicator of the industry's overall health.

The big picture: Despite digital advances, retailers recognize the necessity of brick-and-mortar for fulfillment and online returns, says John Mercer, Coresight's global research head.

By the numbers: As of May 17, U.S, retailers opened 3,749 locations but closed 3,234.

  • While the pace of store openings has been steady, store closings spiked by several hundred between weeks 10 and 11 of this year.

Zoom in: Dollar stores continue to drive new locations — but they're also behind many new store vacancies, Mercer tells Axios.

  • "It may be the first time we've seen them lead closures," he says.
  • Family Dollar is planning to close 620 locations this year, while bankrupt 99 Cents Only Stores is likely to close 371 locations.
  • Apparel retailers Rue 21 and Express, which both filed for bankruptcy, are expected to close 543 stores and 105 stores, respectively, per Coresight.

Yes, but: Dollar General is projected to open 819 locations, while Five Below has 227 new stores in its future.

  • Apparel discounters Burlington Stores, The TJX Cos., and Ross Stores are also still aggressively opening stores, with 140, 99, and 83 openings, respectively.

Meanwhile, 7-Eleven and CVS are among the top chains closing and opening stores.

  • 7-Eleven is opening 273 while closing 272; CVS is closing 315 while opening 219.
  • Along with CVS, Rite Aid has 165 slated for closure.

Reality check: Discounters have been the slowest to move online, Mercer says, by luring shoppers into their stores with bargains.

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