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Does America Have Too Many Stores?

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Photo: Delia*s

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Buzzfeed News has given a name to the slew of American store closures: it's the retail industry's "winter of death" and it doesn't look like it's letting up anytime soon. According to the report, over 1,000 stores are shutting their doors this year due to bankruptcies and, in some cases, extremely scaled-back store operations. Due to the staggering number of closures, Buzzfeed suggests that perhaps there are just too many stores in America. As a nation, we're certainly beating out everyone else for the amount of retail space in the country. The report notes that in the US, there's an average of 20 square feet of shopping center space per citizen (over 7.5 billion square feet in total for 2013). Coming in second place, the UK averaged just 3 square feet of space per person. There was just too much selling space and not enough demand to keep profits high enough. "All of these retailers got overstored, and many of them didn't really have anything very special," one retail analyst noted.

Meanwhile, fast fashion shows no signs of struggling with the same problems. In its annual report, H&M announced that it would be opening 400 new locations in 2015 and Forever 21 plans to open 600 new stores globally in the next three years.
· Retail's Winter Of Death Has Claimed Thousands Of Stores [Buzzfeed]
· Kate Spade, Gap, C. Wonder: Explaining the Recent Retail Clusterfuck [Racked]
· Kate Spade to Shut Down All Kate Spade Saturday and Jack Spade Stores [Racked]