Thousands of brick-and-mortar stores will close this year, but others will open, just not where you would expect, analysts say.
Gap, Ulta, Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Dollar General, Ross and Aldi have all announced plans to open new locations this year. Gap said it plans to close about 200 stores by 2020, but by 2020 will open about 270 under the Athleta and Old Navy banners.
"The common denominator is that they are the largest businesses," said Simeon Siegel, CEO and Nomura Securities senior equity analyst for apparel, broadlines and specialty retailers.
"When you think about who's just opening up, it's these incredibly big stores, it's those stores that are outside the mall that focus on value," Siegel said.
With a few exceptions – such as Lululemon, which is located in shopping malls – brands like Ross, TJ Maxx and Ulta will continue to grow, Siegel said.
"What Amazon has taught us is that convenience belongs to the consumer," Siegel said. "Power belongs to the consumer – if one of these companies is in the strip center around the block, the consumer is still able to go in. The consumer would rather be in the store, in a corridor that holds something, if you could . " transported magically, that's where you want to be.
"The shopping malls, which are generally farther away from the people, are more difficult to do," he said.