The Supply Side: U.S. retail expansion to include 4,432 new stores in 2022

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The Supply Side: U.S. retail expansion to include 4,432 new stores in 2022

Brick-and-mortar retail is alive and well in 2022. There have been more store openings than store closings during the first seven months of the year. Coresight Research reports 4,432 store openings, compared to 1,954 closings, resulting in a net gain greater than 49 million square feet.

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The pace of store closures has slowed down since 2021 when 4,130 closures were announced by retailers. The number of new stores announced by retailers has also slowed compared to a year earlier, with 4,554.

Analysts stated that many retailers want to right-size their storeholdings. This may involve a mix of openings and closures. As shopping habits change, retailers are also trying new formats.

Gap’s Athleisure specialty retailer Athleta is one of the 2022 stores. Athleta said it’s on track to open up to 40 new locations this year, including its first two outlet stores in Chicago this summer, and Leesburg, Va., scheduled to open this fall. Outlet stores are designed to reach new customers who are looking for affordable at-leisure clothing.

“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,”Mary Beth Laughton, CEO.

The off-price retail industry is also growing, with more stores opening each year. TJX announced plans in 2022 to open 150 TJ Maxx stores in the U.S., on a basis of almost 4,700 stores. Burlington plans to open 90 new stores on a base of about 840 stores, and Ross Stores plans to open 75 Ross Dress for Less Stores and 25 of the DD’s Discount banners this year on a base of more than 1,900 total stores. Ross opened 65 U.S. store in the last year.

Five Below, a discount retailer, presented an aggressive new store plan that included 1,000 new locations by 2025. The plans called for 375 to 400 new brick-and mortar stores this year and next. The balance of the stores would open in 2024. Joel Anderson, a former Walmart executive, is Five Below’s CEO. He stated that the inventory position of Five Below was good in June, with improved in-stocks. Also, Five Below received accelerated summer and back-to school receipts.

“With the planned openings and conversions in scale this year, we are on track to end the year with nearly half of our stores in the new Five Beyond format. We are capitalizing on real-time opportunities in the marketplace, including merchandise and real estate, while piloting new products and services that embody the rituals of life and milestones of growing up,”Anderson said.

He stated that the macro environment is challenging until 2022. Coresight CEO Deborah Weinswig suggested that discounters such as Five Below should be in a strong spot if the economy slows.

“Shoppers watching their budget can still feel good about themselves when they find bargains at $5,” Weinswig said.

This year, the dollar store segment continues to lead the retail sector in new store openings. Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville (Tenn.), plans to open 1,102 stores in the coming year. This will create 11.7 million square footage of new retail space. Dollar General is also trying out a new format called Popshelf. This concept offers accessories, decor cosmetics, party supplies, and household supplies at a price of $5 or less. Popshelf opened its first 30 stores last year. There are more than 200 locations planned for this year.

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Dollar Tree, a Virginia-based retailer, has a growth strategy to add 590 new stores and 800 Family Dollar renovations this fiscal year. Dollar Tree is testing a Family Dollar-Dollar Tree combo format, in rural areas of south Arkansas like Hope and Lake Village. The company announced that 350 Family Dollar stores will be offering the combo format.

Walmart is also testing a new format store in partnership with hospitality group Getaway. This will allow for small general stores to be set up at campsites all across the country. In September, the first Walmart general store will open in Wimberly (Texas), south of Austin. Walmart stated that the partnership plans to open general stores in Moodus (Conn.), Running Springs (Calif.), Roscoe (N.Y.) and Osceola (Mo.

The “General Stores”The concept will be mounted on wheels in small, wooden, slope roofed cabins. Walmart’s name and starburst logo are in yellow, in smaller print, under signage saying The General Store. The store’s tote bags say, “Quality Goods, Great Outdoors,”Walmart in a smaller font Inside, rustic wooden shelves display a carefully selected selection of goods on a limited basis.

“Walmart’s partnership with Getaway furthers our mission to help people live better no matter where they are,”Casey Schlaybaugh is vice president of brand marketing at Walmart U.S. “We are going beyond just saving people money by enabling guests to maximize Getaway’s experience and empowering them to spend more quality time with those who matter most.”

The General Store items will also be available on Walmart.com via a special Getaway shopping page. And those who visit Outpost over the next year will receive a free trial of the retailer’s membership program, Walmart+, the retailer announced on July 28.

“In partnering with Walmart, we are able to amplify our efforts to a larger audience and provide our guests with more free time, helping them prepare for their stays and enjoy the comforts of nature once they arrive,”Carlos Becil is chief experience officer at Getaway.

Discounter Big Lots plans to open 50 new stores in the coming year, including one in Rogers, located at 210 S. Promenade Blvd. The Rogers location opened in May and features furniture and home furnishings. The new format does NOT sell consumables or fashion products, nor does it offer beauty and health aids. The company operates approximately 1,400 stores in 47 States.

Big Lots often sells closeouts for a lower price than traditional retail. Despite having inventory problems in the past two years, Big Lots said it will continue to invest and add 500 stores by 2030.

Editor’s note: The Supply Side section of Talk Business & Politics focuses on the companies, organizations, issues and individuals engaged in providing products and services to retailers.The Supply Side is managed by Talk Business & Politics and sponsored by Propak Logistics.

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