Retailer, restaurant closures in US surge to high levels

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, 8,400 retailers and 110,000 restaurants across the US have been closed so far this year, according to industry statistics.

Data issued on Sunday by the New York-headquartered Coresight Research revealed that the Ascena Retail group, an American retailer of women’s clothing, closed most of its locations, at nearly 1,200, reports Xinhua news agency.

Coresight anticipated that closures will snowball and set a new record this year, breaking the 2019 record of 9,302 closures tracked by the firm.

Business is equally bleak for the US catering industry.

About 17 per cent of the country’s restaurants, roughly 110,000, have permanently closed this year, with thousands more on the brink of shutting shop, according to a recent National Restaurant Association report.

“There’s no way to sugarcoat it: 2020 was a brutal year for restaurants and stores. The pandemic, massive amounts of debt and a shift in shopping as well as dining habits created a lethal cocktail of bankruptcies and closures,” a CNN report said.

“With lockdowns devastating retail and restaurants — many of which were already in deep trouble, dozens declared bankruptcy this year,” it added.

Also, the number of initial unemployment claims in the US increased to 853,000 last week, the highest since mid-September, according to the Labour Department.