Chain retailers feel enough optimism about consumer demand in 2014 that they continue to up their projected store opening plans, according to the most recent National Retailer Demand Monthly report from RBC Capital Markets.
RBC reports that in December, the most recent month for which data is available, retailers in its database, which includes approximately 1.013 million stores, were planning to open 42,099 new stores over the following 12 months and 81,396 stores over the following 24 months. The figures represent a 1.2 percent year-over-year increase in one-year opening plans (totaling 506 new stores) and a 0.7 percent decline in two-year store opening plans (a decline of 594 stores from a year ago).
The retail sectors that experienced the most significant increases in store opening plans included toy and hobby stores, party supplies stores, gift stores and plus size apparel stores.
Meanwhile, the retailers that pulled back on opening plans included florist shops, childcare centers, check cashing venues and lingerie stores.
The report’s authors also noted that after several years of relatively light store closings and bankruptcies, the retail industry might see an increase in closings in 2014. Already in January department store J.C. Penney announced plans to close 33 stores, Macy’s was planning to close five stores and Dillard’s three stores. Sears had also just announced…click to read the full story