Retail stores are continuing to be one of the hardest-hit industries for COVID-19 restrictions, with bankruptcies declared for major companies like J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew in just one month. New data suggests many other retail stores will follow in their footsteps, and will force huge numbers of stores in the country to close in the next five years.
In data from UBS collected by the Wall Street Journal, analysts predict nearly 100,000 stores will be forced to close by 2025 as shopping shifts online and people stop going in person. One of the most affected retail stores involves office supplies, where experts predict only 50 percent of its current stores will remain in the next five years.
Many retail corporations are drowning in endless debt, and mounting interest payments are a major factor for why many will choose to close brick-and-mortar stores sooner rather than later.
Some analysts predict a temporary surge in physical retail activity, with people excited to leave there homes and shop as states lift COVID-19 restrictions. Still, the downfall of the shopping mall is inevitable and one that started long before the coronavirus pandemic with major online shopping platforms like eBay and Amazon.