Reports of the death of brick and mortar retail have been greatly exaggerated, according to a new analysis.

"Retail is not dead," writes Debra D. Bass. "According to a report by IHF Group, the U.S. gained 4,080 more retail stores than it lost this year."

The report, titled "Debunking the Retail Apocalypse," counters a prevailing narrative about a "retail apocalypse" in the United States due to the growing popularity of e-commerce. (Planetizen readers have proven the popularity of this narrative, as shown in this traffic analysis of the first six months of 2017.)1

Debunking The Retail Apocalypse

A lot has been made in the mainstream news about the death of retail. But it is fake news. The reality is retail has grown over $122b in sales in the US this year and retailers have opened thousands of stores more than they have closed.

This is research that was conducted to refute the negative narrative that was out there in the mainstream media that was based on a very narrow swath of data.  This research report began with the review of 2,400 retail chains operating in the U.S. from the IHL Sophia Data Service, then was narrowed down to 1,804 chains with 50 or more stores.

The Result?  Over 4,850 more stores are opening than closing among big chains, and when smaller retailers are included the net gain is well over 10,000 new stores. As well, through the first seven months of the year, retail sales are up $122 billion, an amount roughly equivalent to the total annual retail sales of The Netherlands.”

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