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Supply Chain Graphic of the Week:The Incredible Retail Transformation


Store Closing, Bankruptcies Way Up, Employment Heading Down

April 26, 2017
SCDigest Editorial Staff

As SCDigest wrote earlier this week, the traditional retail sector is transforming before our eyes, with a big impact on retail and consumer goods manufacturers' supply chains in the end. (See Retail Landscape Transforming before Our Eyes, as Store Closings Continue at Breakneck Pace.)

Store closings continue at a brisk pace, as do bankruptcy filings.


For example, at least 10 retailers, including Limited Stores, electronics chain HH Gregg and sporting-goods chain Gander Mountain, have filed for bankruptcy protection so far this year. That compares with nine retailers with at least $50 million liabilities that declared bankruptcy for all of 2016. And this in relatively decent economic times. Who knows what would happen in a recession.


The chart below from the Wall Street Journal nicely summarizes the magnitude of the changes in the retail sector:




As seen in the chart, Credit Suisse is now forecasting total US store closings in 2017 will be 8600, based on announcements so far this year and historical patterns, a huge number.


And retail jobs are naturally feeling the impact of all this. As can be seen in the chart, growth in retail employment has now almost flatlined, versus over 2% year-over-year as recently as 2014.


What the brick and mortar retail world will look like in 10-20 years is anyone's guess.


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