Retailers have already confirmed the closure of over 1,700 stores planned for 2020. This includes big names such as Pier 1, KMart, Sears, Forever 21, and Walgreens. Many shopping malls and plazas in America are also in big trouble with vacancies and even facing closure or bankruptcy.
Even the treasured Times Square section of New York City is facing issues with tenants. Both The Gap and Cover Girl are looking for a way to get out of that spot among others.
There are many issues at play here. Obviously, the continued expansion of online shopping provides strengthening competition for stores trying to bring in shoppers to a brick and mortar location or mall. Tools like Twitter and DuckDuckGo allow consumers to easily check out products and buy online. The emergence of robots in retail and self driving electric delivery trucks are powerful forces that can help retailers deal with slower stores and deliver products efficiently to fulfill online orders. We are even seeing delivery robots and the use of services like Uber to make it easier to order products and food online from the comfort of home.