BI: More than 800 stores are closing across the US in 2023. Here's the full list. $WMT, $M, $BIG, $BBBY, + More

:pushpin: More than a dozen major retailers are expected to close at least 800 US stores in 2023.

:pushpin: Macy’s, Walmart, and Big Lots are among the chains shutting down stores.

:pushpin: Bed Bath & Beyond is planning to close 416 locations — the most of any retailers on the list.

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I don’t think this is surprising. Retailing changes constantly. Online retailing has been growing–even before Covid.

Consumers no longer need so many storefront retailers. Some are going away–usually repurposed to some other use.

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The numbers of retail outlets in the US has been stable for the last 5 years, even during Covid. (Surprising to me.) It’s 1.04 m retail locations; as I recall from an (now unrecoverable) older post, that’s almost twice as many per capita as most other countries.

Surprising to me too. We have vacant shopping malls with weeds in the parking lots–waiting to be redeveloped or torn down. This from the big box era. Before the online shopping explosion.

And in my suburban neighborhood we have lots of empty storefront available to lease.

A major shift in retailing is in progress.

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Yep, and yet we have multiple new mini-strip malls being shoehorned into places where nothing existed before. In the past year we have one with two 3 store pods, and another with a 3 store pod right in the middle of a residential neighborhood . (I am not saying someone on the planning commission didn’t get a payoff but…)

They keep adding. And I keep thinking “What about those others with a “for lease” sign out front?

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The Keys are Shopping Mall Hell ugly out on US1 in Key West and througout different Keys. When this is all an Underwater Disney Theme Park (I wish I was around to snorkle it), only then will the ugliness die.

We have no Walmarts down here. Most every strip mall has an anchor grocery store. And then the dozens of tiny shops owned by locals for haircuts, jewelry, pizza, etc.

Worse yet: the new “mini-malls” of 3-4 stores side by side. Stuff the next hurricane will knock out of business and then the whole process starts anew.

Some wiped out ground level business buildings from centuries past have metamorphozed 3 or 4 times since 1990 with all new windows, outlets moved to the 4 foot level, etc. Old construction’s reconstruction like this was okay until just recently. Were these homes, you’d have to rebuild on stilts since the Aughts. We recently passed for this county that all new restorations of business buildings will need stilts, AMA approved ramps, etc. (Insurers have been barking about this for years.)

Noticeable: Every single chain restaurant on Duval Street - except for the Hard Rock Cafe and Wendy’s - went out of business over the past 2.5 years. I did a tour of Duval just the other day and shook my head at a new retail experience downtown where the restaurants are all local establishments and the garrish logos of Gas Monkeys and all those other made for TV bar/restaurants blew into and outta town like Tumbling Tumbleweeds.

One more thing: I’ve mentioned this before, but the EV bicycle is most definitely KING of Key West. The diminished sounds of busted mufflers on gas/oil scooters is all but gone. But the side streets are so quiet, and the EV bikes are everywhere, way more than autos, mass transit, cabs, etc., on our side streets and downtown.

Re grocery stores anchoring malls. In this area they tell us grocery business is low margin. So store is built as an anchor and store makes its money in real estate renting out the properties in the mall.

I’ve never driven further along the keys than Marathon, so I’ve never seen Key West. I’m surprised retail isn’t building high… or at least having a second floor that serves as the main operation.

Oh well…

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

Retail rarely does well above the first floor. Even Kohl’s & Target figured out that multi-level department stores were throwbacks to an earlier time; now it’s mostly all “one floor shopping.”

Key West is largely bars, restaurants, and T-shirt shops (exaggeration) and there’s really no incentive to build higher. These places don’t have a large corporate staff that needs housing, nor much of anything except what they offer in plain view: fun, sun, and shopping.

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“Drinking, Waddlng, Drinking, Waddling, Drinking, Waddling”

That’s the Duval Crawl for Boomer and Gen X Gluttons in Key West.

The few second-floor bars in Key West never have crowds because 50% of our drinking population look at those 15-19 steps as a Stop Sign.