Monthly Archives: March 2021

Encouraging News From Some of Our Favorite Brick and Mortar Shops

Although these are challenging times for bricks and mortar retail, some are thriving.  To put this into context, essential and off-price retailers tend to thrive in a downtown.  But we want to highlight a few outside these categories.

We aren’t doing too bad in 2021.   Despite record sales drops in most retail categories except essential and off-price goods, U.S. retailers have announced 3,199 store openings and 2,548 closures, according to Coresight Research.  In 2019, retailers announced 4,548 openings, up from 3,747 in 2018. So far, in 2021, openings are already tracking to top each year prior.

Some retailers expanding currently include:

  • Aldi: The German discount grocer is expanding with 100 new U.S. stores in 2021, Locations are primarily  located in Arizona, Florida, California and the Northeast.
  • American Eagle Outfitters: The young Millennial retailer continues to focus on its intimates brand, Aerie, and plans to expand from about 350 stores to approximately 400 locations by the end of this year. In total 500 to 600 Aerie stores are anticipated by 2023.
  • Fabletics: The activewear fashion brand founded by Kate Hudson disclosed that it will open 24 new stores in 2021, expanding its brick-and-mortar presence to 74 U.S. locations by year-end.
  • Five Below: The tween and teen retailer remains one of several  specialty retailers expanding on brick-and-mortar units. Five Below plans to open 175 new stores in 2021, up from 120 last year, and will enter two new states — Utah and New Mexico — as its footprint expands to 40 states. The company ended the year with more than 1, 050 stores.
  • Lidl: Lidl US is expanding along the East Coast. The German grocer plans to open 50 new stores by the end of 2021, with locations in Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.
  • Sephora: In the largest store expansion plan in its  history the global beauty giant will open more than 60 freestanding stores.  The brand will also open 200 shop-in-shop locations in Kohl’s stores this year. 
  • Sprouts Farmers Market: The organic grocer is planning 20 stores this year, including 10 in the California.
  • Target: The brand announced it is accelerating new store openings, with 30 to 40 stores in the next couple of years. It also expects to enlarge its store remodel program this year and complete approximately 150 in time for the holidays 2021. It plans to remodel more than 200 stores a year beginning in 2022. 
  • Ulta Beauty: The beauty giant’s plans for this year include 40 new stores  and 21 remodels or relocations.

While these expansions may not save the industry, we are happy just to have a few bright spots on our retail horizon.  So let’s not call 2021 the demise of retail.  A wait and see attitude may bring more plans for expansion and new formats in out-of-home experiences. 

I for one will be hitting the pavement hard as soon as safety is declared!!