Retailers May Face More Store Closures As Online Sales Jump

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Retailers in Southern California and across the U.S. could face increased pressure to close more stores as more shoppers flock to online outlets, according to a report Monday.

In coming years, an estimated 10 percent of U.S. retail space – roughly one billion square feet – may need to be closed, converted or renegotiated to lower rental prices, according to data cited by Bloomberg.

In the wake of a barrage of store closures announced by Macy’s, Sears, Nordstrom, and others, along with a slowdown in mall traffic and lackluster holiday sales, more retailers are being forced to consider store closures to stay competitive and expand their business online.

An estimated 50 million square feet of space – about 5,000 stores – has already been shuttered in the last 18 months, according to the report.

One of the biggest challenges facing retailers, Bloomberg says, is a glut of store space: the U.S. has 24 square feet of retail per capita. Canada has 16.

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