Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?

Is American Retail at a Historic Tipping Point?

This article explores the rate of retail store closures, its effects on employment, and the role of economy market forces on the changes.

Key findings

Between 2010 and 2014, e-commerce grew by an average of $30 billion annually. Between 2014 and 2017, average annual growth has increased to $40 billion.

More workers in general merchandise stores have been laid off since October 2016, about 89,000 Americans. That is more than all of the people employed in the United States coal industry.

As of April 2017, store closures were on pace to eclipse the number of stores that closed in the depths of the Great Recession of 2008.

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