Four months into 2018 and more than 90 million square feet of retail space is set to close during the year. CoStar Group, which tracks square footage captured from retail store closings, has already noted 94 million square feet set to close in 2018, approximately 24 million of which is from the liquidation of more than 200 Bon-Ton stores.
The previous record was just set last year, as 105 million square feet of retail space closed. This year was aided by the bankruptcy of Toys ‘R’ Us and widespread closings of Sam’s Club and Sears stores.
“I think there’s probably a couple more announcements coming,” said Suzanna Mulvee, a senior real estate analyst at CoStar. “It wouldn't surprise me to see a few more significant announcements from department stores, and more chains that continue to struggle that are unprofitable.” CoStar expects 2018 to be a peak year for the amount of retail space closing.