By Michael Snyder, on January 31st, 2016
Major retailers in the United States are shutting down hundreds of stores, and shoppers are reporting alarmingly bare shelves in many retail locations that are still open all over the country. It appears that the retail apocalypse that made so many headlines in 2015 has gone to an entirely new level as we enter 2016. As economic activity slows down and Internet retailers capture more of the market, brick and mortar retailers are cutting their losses. This is especially true in areas that are on the lower portion of the income scale. In impoverished urban centers all over the nation, it is not uncommon to find entire malls that have now been completely abandoned. It has been estimated that there is about a billion square feet of retail space sitting empty in this country, and this crisis is only going to get worse as the retail apocalypse accelerates.
We always get a wave of store closings after the holiday shopping season, but this year has been particularly active. The following are just a few of the big retailers that have already made major announcements…
-K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.
-The Gap is in the process of closing 175 stores in North America.
-Aeropostale is in the process of closing 84 stores all across America.
-Finish Line has announced that 150 stores will be shutting down over the next few years.
-Sears has shut down about 600 stores over the past year or so, but sales at the stores that remain open continue to fall precipitously.
But these store closings are only part of the story.