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Retailers continue suburban push in expanding


Despite a rise in online shopping, retailers are expanding their footprint as in-store continues to rebound.

Recent data from Dataplor shows that of the seven retailers studied (Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Marshalls, Kohl’s, and Burlington), there were approximately 380+ store openings from 2020 to the present. The store growth rates appeared to peak in 2022 and were followed up by a leveling-off in 2023.

Burlington opened the most stores out of the seven studied during the 2020-present period, with roughly 281 store openings during that time, followed by Marshalls with about 64.

The data reveals roughly 330 store openings in smaller cities and suburban areas, compared to about 59 openings in major cities (population above 600,000).

“With the success of these store openings in suburban locations, we can conclude that consumers want in-person shopping experiences, without breaking the bank, in the places they live,” said Dataplor in a blog post. “And retailers have been paying attention.”

While several major cities have seen lower rates of population loss over the past four years, much of the population growth in the U.S. has been concentrated in lower-density outer suburbs. According to U.S. Census Data, outer suburbs have seen a 1.3% annual growth rate from 2010 to 2023, compared to a 0.75% rate for inner suburbs and a 0.03% rate for urban cores.

“While some shoppers may still enjoy visiting a flagship store in a major city where they can have a unique experience, they also value time and convenience, a need that retailers are responding to with success,” added Dataplor.

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