The U.S. retail sector is being compared by some top retail executives to the housing market collapse in 2008. Urban Outfitters’ Richard Hayne’s dim view is understandable, given the retailers’ recent lackluster performance, but it is also a reflection of the larger marketplace.
Hayne believes the retail bubble has burst, evidenced by doors closing and rents in retreat. He predicts the trend will “continue for the foreseeable future,” and perhaps even “accelerate.”
E-commerce is cited as a big culprit. Online sales cannibalize store sales, reduce foot traffic and erode margins, noted Hayne.
Massive physical footprints are proving to be a big financial burden. Hayne believes the U.S. retail market is oversaturated, with too much space occupied by apparel stores.
Green Street Advisors projects a return to sales productivity levels of 10 years ago requires closure of about 800 department stores, representing roughly 20% of anchor mall space.
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