For the first time since 2016, more retail stores opened than closed in 2022—a trend researchers expect to continue.
- Physical retail stores are opening more quickly than they are closing, according to reports from Coresight Research.
- Coresight researchers expect retailers to open more stores this year than last.
- Despite the popularity of online shopping during the pandemic, retailers and shoppers began to see the benefits of shopping in person. Once the pandemic passed, shoppers returned to brick-and-mortar stores.
- Bargain shopping that may not be available online is the main incentive for shoppers to return to in-person shopping.
- Discount chains like Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Five Below, TJX Cos, and Aldi were the top six retailers opening stores last year.
Why it’s news
In-person retail struggled during the pandemic when customers could not visit stores because of the lockdown. The rising popularity of online shopping has led some to believe that brick-and-mortar stores may one day be a thing of the past.
However, online providers can’t supply some aspects of shopping—such as holding a product in hand before purchasing or trying on an item of clothing to ensure a fit.
Discount chains like TJX Cos have a constantly changing inventory, making online sales difficult. Some consumers prefer to browse these types of stores occasionally, taking advantage of a good deal when they stumble across one.
Retail stores may face new challenges in the post-pandemic world, but they aren’t out of the fight yet.
Backing up a bit
E-commerce set new records in 2022 with more than $1 trillion in sales over the year. Nearly $33.2 billion of that total came from holiday sales. Technology, particularly retail apps, drove the increased shopping.
Tools like Uber Eats, Facebook Marketplace, and Instacart give users access to retail products at their fingertips. Other payment apps like Venmo and Apple Pay make purchases online even simpler and more secure.
As more users become accustomed to new technology to make purchases, e-commerce will likely grow.