CoStar Survey of Store Opening and Closings

CoStar has an excellent chart up along with a story analyzing store openings and closings. A must read.

On store closings, 36% of the CFOs surveyed and 57% of the top 100 retailers' CFOs said they will have closed stores in 2008. However, suggesting the bulk of these closures are only in the normal course of business, only 33% of the top 100 said 2008 store closings would be up over 2007 -- 50% said the number of closings would be about the same, while 17% said less stores would be closed.

On a more positive note, 77% of all CFOs and 67% of the top 100 CFOs, said their companies did not or would not reduce or delay store opening plans in 2008. However, continued credit market mayhem could have adverse impact on store expansion plans for the remainder of 2008 and into 2009, as 41% of CFOs said they had seen some tightening of credit from their lenders.

One hint of the impending likelihood of less stores being opened in 2009 is reflected in the table below; as most retailers have yet to share their 2009 store opening guidance with the public. Some retailers have already stated they would only open stores in 2009 that were signed off many months ago; this could be a trend we increasingly see as retailers announce 2009 store opening plans over the next three months.

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