Ubs expects U.S. apparel retailers, consumer electronics companies and home improvement companies to need to close more stores as e-commerce sales surge, according to media reports.
In a report to customers, the bank said it assumed that by 2026, the share of online sales in total U.S. retailing had grown from 16% today to 25%, and that about 75,000 retail stores (excluding restaurants) needed to be shut down.
This means that for every 1% increase in online sales penetration, about 8,000 physical stores need to be closed. Much of this growth has been driven by Amazon, which expects Amazon to account for about half of the U.S. e-commerce market by 2026.
According to the company’s hypothetical online penetration rate in each retail subsector, UBS estimates that the 75,000 stores to be closed include about 21,000 clothing stores, 10,000 consumer electronics stores, 8,000 home furnishings stores, 1000 home decor shops, and about 7,000 grocery stores.
The U.S. retail industry has announced more than 5,000 store closures so far this year, according to market-research firm Coresight Research.
However, Ubs noted in the report that more store closures “should contribute to increased productivity in the remaining stores.”