The U.S. to lose 80,000 retail stores by 2026: UBS

Vaccines are in the arms of around a third of the country (at least the first dose), and people are thinking about returning to aspects of their old lives again, like shopping in stores.

But a reopening bounce for retail might not be a sure thing.

A new report from UBS’s retail analysts suggests that 80,000 stores will close in the U.S. over the next few years.

“We estimate that 80,000 stores will close by 2026 in our base case,” the report found. The worst-case scenario is 150,000 stores closing.

The “enduring legacy” of the pandemic’s effect on retail, as UBS puts it, is the push to online shopping, as fears over the coronavirus as well as stay-at-home orders to prevent transmission have kept many people at home.

In 2020, 17 major retailers filed for bankruptcy – including Lord & Taylor, Century 21 and Brooks Brothers – while others are

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