Will Another 80,000 Retail Stores Close?

Take a deep breath… 

UBS Financial estimates that for every 1 percent increase in eCommerce penetration to total retail sales (excluding food & gas), 9,000 retail stores would need to close in order to maintain current levels of sales per physical store. 

This would be the equivalent to shutting down seven Toys ‘R’ Us chains. 


Should online penetration of retail sales rise to 25 percent by 2025 (as predicted), UBS estimates it could lead to 80,000 traditional retail store closures (assuming 2 percent sales growth and 2 percent store growth). 
 In a scenario where retail sales rise by 3 percent per year, the study estimates that “only” 27,000 store closures would be needed.


Retail transformation is inevitable, essential, and in many instances, painful. It is also an opportunity for new business and career growth.

Retail is no longer mortar & brick stores, or ecommerce, or omnichannel… it’s physical, digital, virtual, borrowed, resold, shared, subscribed, 3-D printed… seamless and borderless. 

The future… belongs to those who invent it.

Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau

Chart: UBS

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