Widespread closures have roiled the retail industry, but many more stores are likely to shut down in coming years to keep up with a shift to online shopping, according to a report by investment firm UBS.
An estimated 75,000 stores that sell clothing, electronics and furniture will close by 2026, when online shopping is expected to make up 25 percent of retail sales, according to UBS. Roughly 16 percent of overall sales are made online.
Analysts said the closures would affect a broad variety of retailers, affecting an estimated 21,000 apparel stores, 10,000 consumer electronics stores and 8,000 home furnishing stores.
Already this year, retailers have announced plans to close thousands of stores as they keep up with changing consumer habits. Payless ShoeSource, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, is closing all 2,100 of its U.S. stores, while Gymboree is shuttering its 800 locations. Sears, which has closed 1,300 Kmart and Sears stores since 2013, is scrapping an additional 80 locations. A number of other retailers, including Gap, have hinted that store closures are on the horizon.