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UBS: 80,000 Stores Doomed To Close As E-Commerce Spikes Further

An estimated 80,000 physical retail stores will close for good between now and 2026, according to UBS analysts, as reported by MarketWatch


That means the current inventory of 878,000 U.S. stores will drop to 798,000 over the next five years. At the same time, e-commerce will rise to represent 27% of all retail sales by 2026, up from 18% in 2020, UBS predicts.

The retail slump, which has been going on since well before the coronavirus pandemic, continues to eat away at even the largest malls. U.S. regional malls' vacancy rate hit a record 11.4% in Q1 2021, up from 10.5% in Q4 2020, according to Moody’s Analytics, CNBC reports.

Not only is the total a record, but so was the 90-basis-point jump quarter-over-quarter, Moody's reported. 

“Malls are absolutely still on the ropes,” Victor Calanog, lead of the commercial real estate economics division within Moody’s, told CNBC.

Even so, some physical retailers are refusing to go away without a struggle. Dick's Sporting Goods is preparing to unveil a new concept this week: Dick’s House of Sport at Eastview Mall in Victor, New York.

The concept is experiential. The 100K SF store will offer a rock-climbing wall, a batting cage and an outdoor running track, among other hands-on features, Chain Store Age reports. The sporting goods chain is planning to open a second such location later this year in Tennessee.