- Hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs over the last decade as a result of the retail apocalypse.
- More than 6,100 stores have been slated for closure so far in 2019, already exceeding last year’s total number of closures.
- The states hit hardest by retail job losses over the last decade are West Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, Ohio, Connecticut, and Maryland.
- There’s no end in sight: retailers are expected to close roughly 9,000 stores this year, followed by another 12,000 stores in 2020, according to estimates from Cushman & Wakefield.
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While some regions of the US have started to recover from these losses, others – particularly certain areas of the Midwest and Northeast – are still struggling to bounce back.
Among the states hit hardest by retail job losses over the last decade are West Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, Ohio, Connecticut, and Maryland.
Retail employment has fallen between 6% and 10.3% in each of those states over the period from January 2007 to February 2019, according to data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics.
On the other end of the spectrum, Washington, Utah, and Washington, DC have all seen retail job growth of at least 20% in the same time period.
The states that have failed to fully recover retail employment to pre-recession levels may continue to struggle for years, as store closures are on track to accelerate. Closures continue to outpace openings.
More than 8,000 stores closed in the US in 2017, setting an all-time record for the number of stores that have closed in a single year, according to the real-estate-services firm Cushman & Wakefield. Another US record was smashed in 2018, as the amount of retail square footage that went dark soared to new heights, according to CoStar Group, another commercial-real-estate firm.
2019 is now on pace to set new records.
Cushman & Wakefield has predicted that roughly 9,000 stores will ultimately close in 2019. In 2020, the firm expects retailers to close a staggering 12,000 stores.
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