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These Brands Are Expanding Despite The Tough Retail Environment

The rise of e-commerce? Massive shutdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus? Those factors are significantly impacting thousands of retailers, but some major retailers seem to be shrugging it all off.

At least a dozen major brands have plans to grow their footprints — some by hundreds of stores — this year and into the decade to come.


Stan Johnson Co.'s National Tenant Expansion trend report released this week shows some major retailers apparently canceled their 2020 growth strategies, while others continue to add locations.

The brands with ongoing growth strategies over the next one to 10 years are those that fall in staple categories like discount retail, convenience, and arts and crafts. Meanwhile, the brands giving up on space include big-name pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens.

Dollar General and Discount Retailing Come In Strong 

The discount retail segment is showing signs of confidence even during recession fears. 

In just the first quarter, Dollar General opened 250 stores, remodeled 481 locations and relocated 17 units, according to recent company earnings. The retailer plans to open a total of 1,000 stores this year. 

Dollar General has been lauded for its solid sales and for having a platform poised for growth even after the pandemic ends. 

Discount retailer Five Below operates 900 stores and plans to eventually reach 2,000 stores, according to Stan Johnson. Of those, 150 are expected to open in 2020.  

Dollar Tree and Family Dollar reportedly each have plans for 300 new stores in the future, while Burlington is expected to grow its footprint by 1,000 locations, with 51 to 54 slated for opening this year. 

Discount clothing retailer Ross Dress for Less initially had plans to open 100 stores in 2020, but canceled them in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent store shutdowns, according to the Stan Johnson Co. report.

A Hobby Lobby store in Fredericksburg, Virginia

Arts And Crafts, Convenience, Beauty, Grocery And Big-Box Retail Stay Positive

All three major players in the arts, crafts and hobbies segment have plans to expand their portfolio. 

Hobby Lobby reportedly plans to open 55 new locations in 2020 and to relocate 25, while Jo-Ann Stores is slated to open four, and Michael's will either open or relocate 45 sites, according to Stan Johnson.

Convenience store chain 7-Eleven reported plans to add 1,100 new stores in the coming decade, with its expansion plans reaching a crescendo in 2027. 

The report shows beauty retailer ULTA adding 225 stores, while big-box retailers Target, Costco and Walmart have plans for 20, six and 77 new locations, respectively, in 2020. Walmart intends to focus less on brick-and-mortar expansion than in past years and more on e-commerce, supply chain solutions and technology, the report said. 

Grocery store Aldi has plans to add over 2,500 stores by 2022, while Sprouts Farmer's Market has plan for 20 more locations this year. 

On the flip side, some major retailers in the pharmaceutical chain space are cutting down on their national footprints, with CVS expected to shutter 75 stores this year and Walgreens planning to close 200 locations, the report said. 

Confidence in the pharmacy space continues to be undermined by the growth of Amazon into the space and the risk that consumers will flock to other convenient retail solutions in the future.