As more consumers shift to online shopping, the number of closures among department stores, supermarkets, minimarts, and other retail shops continues to grow. And due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, store closures have hit a new high in 2020 and 2021, with global marketing research firm Coresight Research having forecasted over 15,000 gross closures in 2020 ― up from a record-high of 9,548 in 2019. To get a clear picture of how the rise of e-commerce and the threat of the current pandemic have hurt retailers so far, below is a slideshow of companies that have or are about to shut down some or all of their brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. this 2020 and 2021. The list also includes some notable businesses that closed a huge number of stores in 2019.
In July 2020, the U.S. operations of Japanese lifestyle retailer Muji filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, citing shutdowns from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a statement, the retailer said it will be restructuring its business and will be running fully operational while closing unprofitable stores.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Muji USA had already been struggling with steep rental prices in prime locations and landmarks such as its New York Times Square and Fifth Avenue flagships. Rents were renegotiated but had failed to reach a solution to overcome its costs, causing the business difficulties to stay afloat.