After the pandemic hit in early 2020, businesses across all industries took a huge hit with many closing permanently. The exact numbers are difficult to calculate, but the Federal Reserve estimates that 200,000 more businesses closed in 2020 than in previous years. Fortunately, the retail sector bounced back in 2021, with twice as many store openings as closings, according to The Daily on Retail, a financially focused industry research platform.
Major retailers headquartered in the U.S. reported more than 8,100 new store openings in 2021 and 3,950 store closings. In 2020, retailers announced 10,700 closings, most because of pandemic-related issues. The rebound in store openings can be attributed to an increase in consumer spending, pandemic lease renegotiations and balance sheet restructurings.
Of the new store openings, 47 percent were dollar store, discount, off-price and warehouse club businesses. Dollar General alone opened 1,050 stores in fiscal year 2021 and has another 1,110 openings planned for 2022. Digital natives, companies that began as online retailers, are also making a big push into brick-and-mortar. Warby Parker plans to open 155-160 stores this year, Fabletics will open 24 new stores and home-furnishings brand Parachute plans to open 20 new stores.