Among the top retailers who closed stores in 2016:
Sports Authority: 460 stores shutting down.
Walmart: Closing 269 stores, including 154 U.S. locations.
Aeropostale: 154 stores closing.
Kmart/Sears: 78 stores closing.
Ralph Lauren: Closing at least 50 stores.
The convenience of online shopping is the biggest challenge that brick and mortar retailers have faced in perhaps the history of their existence. Walmart is one of the few to have recognized the threat early and invest the capital to develop a robust online shopping alternative. Those who did not recognize the threat and react are those with vacant stores. It is the age of the super-sized e-commerce retailers like Amazon, Ebay and hundreds of others that are attracting the consumer dollars. The dominance of these mega online outlets is based on lower prices, many more options, and the convenience factor; sit at home on the couch and surf. Thus, many national and chain retainers must cut back or close up.
Brick and Mortar's New Role