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Retailers Will Open Way More U.S. Stores in 2022 Than They Close, Plus 5 Tenant Updates

July 7, 2022

Retailers will open 2.5 times as much retail space in the U.S. as they’ll close in 2022, according to Coresight Research. The closures announced during those first six months of 2022 — for closures that will occur through the year — will yield 29.1 million square feet of vacant retail space. The openings announced, however will result in 73.2 million square feet of new space or backfilled vacancies.

From Jan. 1 through June 24, 1,766 store closures were announced, well below the 4,554 closure announcements in the same period in 2021. From Jan. 1 through June 24, 2022, 4,283 store openings were announced, slightly higher than the 4,130 in the same period of 2021.

Closure announcements piled up in the dollar store sector. Dollar General has announced 25 store closures so far this year, accounting for 265,000 square feet, according to Coresight. Dollar Tree has announced 20, representing 247,000 square feet, and Family Dollar has announced 31, representing 327,000 square feet. Even so, these closures represent only 1% of each chain’s total store count, and the chains announced way more openings: 1,102 for Dollar General, 206 for Dollar Tree and 393 for Family Dollar.

Athleta: The Gap Inc.-owned athleisure brand will open its first outlet stores, 3,100 square feet at Chicago Premium Outlets this summer and 3,300 square feet at Virginia’s Leesburg Premium Outlets this fall. Athleta plans to open 30 to 40 full-line stores in its 2022 fiscal year. “As part of our long-term strategic growth plan, Athleta is investing in new access points to reach new customers and deliver new value to customers who already know and love our brand,” said president and CEO Mary Beth Laughton. “Our new outlet stores are intentionally designed to stand out from traditional outlet and clearance store models, helping drive new customer acquisition and increased brand awareness for Athleta.”

Rendereing of Athleta coming to Chicago Premium Outlets

Gap Inc.: After a yearlong dispute, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled the retailer must pay its landlord, Charles Moss, $24 million in back rent on a Gap store and an Old Navy store, both in Times Square, that were closed during the height of the pandemic.

Kohl’s: Activist investors are calling for the beleaguered department store chain to sell some of its real estate to generate cash after a potential acquisition by Franchise Group fell through last week. In mid-2020, Kohl’s conducted a sale-leaseback of its San Bernardino, California, e-commerce fulfillment and distribution center, which generated $127 million.

Mango: The Spanish fast-fashion brand plans to open its first Canadian stores with local franchisee Fox Group. The retailer will open six in the Toronto area by 2023 and plans to operate 20 stores across the country within 10 years. Mango, which operates 10 stores in the U.S., also plans to open 30 stores there during that time.

Trail Blaze Shops: The nonprofit, which aims to build a generation of entrepreneurs and professionals who can secure their dream jobs without trouble, opened Trail Blaze Shop at First Colony Mall in Sugar Land, Texas. The store sells products created by entrepreneurs ages 12 to 19 and gives 90% of the profits to the creators. The store is the second unit in Target Evolution’s Trail Blaze Shops program, which educates entrepreneurs about how businesses run in real-world environments. The first Trail Blaze Shop opened this year in a kiosk at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, Texas, near Dallas. Target Evolution is working with a national mall owner and national department stores to expand to additional cities.

Trail Blaze Shop participant April Pelton, a teen author and entrepreneur, earned more than $1,000 in just two hours during her first book signing at the Stonebriar Centre kiosk.

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today

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