These 10 retailers are in expansion mode: Here’s who is opening new stores

A Dick’s Sporting Goods retailer

Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In a 180-degree flip from 2020, retailers’ expansion plans are outpacing plans to shut up store to this point this yr.

U.S. retailers have introduced 3,199 retailer openings and a couple of,548 closures year-to-date, in accordance with a monitoring by Coresight Research. For comparability, the agency recorded a whopping 8,953 closures, together with 3,298 openings final yr, because the Covid pandemic upended the retail trade and pushed dozens of companies into chapter 11.

Now, although, the nation is seemingly turning a nook. The rollout of the Covid vaccine retains ramping up, one other spherical of stimulus checks is touchdown in many Americans’ financial institution accounts, and firms are by and huge predicting a robust rebound of the patron. The National Retail Federation is forecasting retail gross sales in the U.S. may develop wherever between 6.5% and eight.2% this yr, with the financial system accelerating at its quickest clip in 20 years.

The actual property market, meantime, presents a possibility in 2021 for firms seeking to develop. They will possible pay much less in hire and have extra versatile lease phrases. A glut of vacancies has left landlords extra determined to fill area and signal offers they would not have ever thought-about pre-pandemic.

“Most retailers that survived Covid’s early days are now looking to refill their new store opening programs,” stated Bill Read, government vp for Retail Specialists, a brokerage agency primarily based in the Southeast. “Demand for new stores is very robust right now. Playing catch up has everyone in a hurry up.”

Here are 10 of the retailers which have retailer openings deliberate for this yr.

Ulta Beauty

Market cap: $18.13 billion
12-month inventory efficiency:
Up 119%

Ulta Beauty is planning to open about 40 web new stores in 2021. The retailer has earmarked roughly $70 million for retailer openings and remodels this yr. Its plans name for 11 areas to be transformed and 10 to be relocated.

When the Covid pandemic hit, retailer openings that had been slated for 2020 had been postponed, Ulta’s administration staff informed analysts throughout a convention name in early March. And in consequence, lots of the openings now deliberate for 2021 are anticipated to occur in the course of the first quarter, it stated. Beginning in the second half of this yr, Ulta is additionally rolling out a smaller model of its retailer in greater than 100 Target areas.

“We continue to be optimistic and positive about the outlook of physical retail, and we’ll continue to find terrific locations across the country,” Ulta President David Kimbell stated. “We see plenty of growth ahead of us.”

Kimbell is set to interchange present Ulta CEO Mary Dillon, when she steps down in June.


LVMH-owned Sephora says it plans to open greater than 60 freestanding stores this yr, the vast majority of which will not be in malls. Separately, the sweetness enterprise is on monitor to open some 200 pint-sized outlets inside Kohl’s areas this fall, which is able to ramp as much as greater than 850 websites by 2023.

Its retailer technique is targeted on lowering its publicity to suburban malls and getting nearer to clients in different methods. As it strikes into Kohl’s, it is ending a years-long relationship with the division retailer chain J.C. Penney.

Make-up gross sales have been walloped in the course of the pandemic, with extra shoppers embracing a low-maintenance and informal way of life, however Sephora is betting that demand for cosmetics will come again sturdy.

Burlington Stores

Market cap: $20.38 billion
12-month inventory efficiency:
Up 135%

Burlington Stores is plotting 75 web new stores for 2021. The off-price retailer’s plans embrace opening about 100 new areas, whereas closing or relocating 25. During a name with analysts in March, administration stated it had shifted 18 retailer openings deliberate for 2020 into this yr because of the pandemic.

About a 3rd of this yr’s openings might be a smaller-format Burlington is piloting. These might be about 25,000 sq. ft versus the everyday 50,000 to 80,000 sq. ft. The firm has stated its purpose for these areas is to maintain stock ranges down and reduce prices.

“When you have less in-store inventory, you need less physical space,” Chief Executive Michael O’Sullivan stated. “This has significant economic benefits … increasing the pool of potential real estate sites, and providing the opportunity to open profitable stores in more locations around the United States.”


Market cap: $1.531 trillion
12-month inventory efficiency:
Up 63%

Amazon is quietly opening extra Amazon Fresh grocery stores, in accordance with a current Bloomberg report.

Amazon Fresh debuted in Los Angeles in September. The Bloomberg report stated the eleventh such retailer opened earlier this month, and Amazon is engaged on a minimum of two dozen extra. A spokesperson did not instantly reply to CNBC’s request for touch upon the report.

Amazon, which additionally owns the high-end Whole Foods grocery chain, sees a possibility to take over vacant actual property in order to plant itself a lot nearer to clients. Bloomberg reported a number of the Fresh outlets are filling empty Toys R Us areas, for instance. Hundreds went darkish after the toy chain filed for chapter in September 2017. The Fresh stores vary from 25,000 sq. ft to 45,000 sq. ft, Bloomberg stated.

It’s not simply Amazon seeking to develop, both. Grocery stays a aggressive class, from the low-end to the high-end: Aldi, Lidl, Sprouts Farmers Market and Trader Joe’s have all introduced retailer openings this yr, as nicely. Dollar General, which additionally sells groceries, plans to open 1,000 stores, together with some with its Popshelf label.


American Eagle’s Aerie and Offline

Market cap: $5 billion
12-month inventory efficiency:
Up 224%

American Eagle has seen big momentum with its Aerie lingerie and loungewear model for teenagers and younger ladies, which has helped increase its enterprise general, particularly in the course of the pandemic. The firm expects it can open roughly 60 Aerie areas this yr, together with 25 to 30 Offline by Aerie outlets. Offline is a new athleisure model the corporate debuted final summer time.

“We’re very excited about the malls,” Chief Executive Jay Schottenstein stated throughout an earnings convention name in early March. “This is probably the best opportunity for us to pick up new locations that we’re being offered … at affordable rents for us.”

Aerie’s progress price has been outpacing that of American Eagle. During the fourth quarter, Aerie gross sales spiked 25% to $337 million from a yr in the past, whereas American Eagle income fell 9% to $943 million.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Market cap: $7.22 billion
12-month inventory efficiency:
Up 333%

Dick’s Sporting Goods is planning to open six new namesake stores this yr, in addition to six areas that may take a look at recent ideas. In the approaching weeks, for instance, it is slated to open a first-of-its-kind experience-heavy location in Rochester, New York, referred to as House of Sport, which is able to characteristic a monitor and subject exterior in addition to an indoor climbing wall.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has a little bit greater than 850 areas in the present day, in accordance with its web site. Along with its off-mall sporting items stores, the retailer operates Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream.

“We’ve been very selective in picking our target for new stores, and the economics have been very good,” Chief Financial Officer Lee Belitsky stated throughout an earnings convention name in early March. “We’re not discouraged from opening new stores in any way, but we do want to continue to be selective.”


Market cap: $80 billion
12-month inventory efficiency:
Up 60%

TJX is planning to open 122 web new stores this yr, which might convey its whole by the top of the fiscal yr to nearly 4,700 areas. TJX’s portfolio of manufacturers consists of the low cost chains TJ Maxx, Marshalls, DwellingGoods and HomeSense. Like quite a lot of its friends, the corporate sees a possibility to land good actual property at an honest value, due to trade disruption.

“With the increase in store closures by some retailers, we are in an excellent position to open new stores in some of our target markets,” Chief Executive Ernie Herrman informed analysts in late February. “Further, we see additional opportunities to relocate existing stores to more desirable locations and to seek out more favorable terms when leases expire.”

While off-price chains like TJ Maxx and Marshalls have suffered in the course of the pandemic resulting from their lack of an online presence, analysts predict these companies may see a robust rebound as Americans look to refresh their wardrobes and head again to stores to buy, particularly round key moments like back-to-school.

Five Below

Market cap: $11 billion
12-month inventory efficiency:
Up 276%

Five Below is planning to open between 170 and 180 new stores in 2021. Ninety to 100 of these ought to come in the primary half of the yr. The firm has stated its final purpose is to achieve greater than 2,500 areas nationwide. It has greater than 1,000 stores in the present day, in accordance with its web site.

“We’re back to playing offense,” Chief Executive Joel Anderson stated in January throughout a digital ICR convention. “We feel great that we’ve got the store engine going again.”

And because it opens new areas and remodels previous ones, Five Below is additionally testing a prototype in the again of some stores the place it hosts esports occasions, which have grown to be common among the many tween and teenage shoppers that it targets. It’s partnered with Nerd Street Gamers, a nationwide community of esports services and aggressive gamer occasions, to function the areas.

Gap’s Old Navy, Athleta

Market cap: $11.62 billion
12-month inventory efficiency:
Up 284%

Gap Inc. is planning to open 30 to 40 new Old Navy stores, together with 20 to 30 Athleta areas, this yr. The firm is pegging its progress on these two manufacturers, which have seen stronger demand from shoppers in current years. whereas its namesake Gap label and Banana Republic have struggled due to their reliance on workwear. The firm is on monitor to concurrently shut about 100 Gap and Banana Republic stores globally, this yr, together with 75 in North America.

“Our discussions with landlords have progressed quite well, and we are making quick and effective progress on our real estate goals,” Chief Financial Officer Katrina O’Connell informed analysts in early March.

Gap is predicting it can bounce again to gross sales progress in 2021, hopeful that clients will quickly return to its stores and spend extra money on attire as they resume some social actions. It additionally it on the brink of launch a extremely anticipated attire line with the singer Kanye West.

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