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Placer.ai: When Store Closures Mean Rightsizing Right

The phrase “retail apocalypse,” coined in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, is often used to characterize large-scale store closures. However, Palo Alto, CA-based Placer.ai says in a new white paper, not all closures point to doomsday. 

“Rightsizing has been classically seen as a softer terminology to discuss store closures,” according to Placer.ai’s “Brands That Are Rightsizing Right” white paper. “But there is a significant trend of rightsizing that is more focused on optimization. If a chain can reach the same audience with 80 stores that it can with 90, why not reduce the operational cost?” 

The white paper charts the strategies and gains evident in closures by seven retail brands: Albertsons, Barnes & Noble, CVS, JCPenney, Macy’s, Nordstrom and Rite Aid. In the case of Macy’s, for example, the department store chain’s February 2020 announcement that it would close about a fifth of its stores by 2023 was seen by some as marking “the beginning of the end for Macy’s.  

“Instead, as the underperforming stores closed, Macy’s saw the number of visitors per venue increase – the new and improved store fleet was attracting foot traffic more efficiently,” according to the white paper. 

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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