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Many Retailers Learned To Survive The Pandemic In 2021. Now They’re Planning More Openings


Roughly the same number of physical retail stores opened in 2021 as closed in the United States, and many retailers — who seem to have adapted at least somewhat to the ebb and flow of the coronavirus pandemic — are planning to open more stores this year.

As of mid-December, major retailers announced 5,083 store openings and 5,079 store closures, according to Coresight Research, with store openings up 55% for the year compared with 2020. As of the last week of 2021, store closures were down 42% for the year compared with 2020.

“The fact that retailers are flush with more cash means they are able to stay in some of their physical leases longer and they have more patience to do and think differently,” Coresight Research CEO Deborah Weinswig told NBC.

Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Five Below and Burlington are all planning new locations this year, NBC reports. 

While many retailers are curtailing in-person events and temporarily closing stores in early 2022 because of the high transmissibility of the omicron variant, store openings are still in the works, Modern Retail reports, including more up-and-coming brands looking to ramp up their physical presence.

Athleisure brand Vuori is still planning to open its previously announced locations, and Parachute Home is moving forward with plans to open locations in California and Minnesota. Framebridge founder Susan Tynan told Modern Retail the company, which specializes in framing services, hasn't paused new store openings, including locations in metro New York.

Closures are also still in the works, especially among legacy retailers for whom the pandemic was merely the latest blow. Macy's is continuing with its three-year plan to close 20% of its stores, or about 125 locations, a move the company announced in February 2020. 

In the early months of 2022, Macy's is planning to close seven locations, two department stores in Colorado, and one each in Alabama, California, Missouri and Texas, with an outlet to be shuttered in Florida, USA Today reports.