Store closing news has and will continue to focus mainly on the status of the largest U.S. retail chains that are closing the largest number of retail brick-and-mortar stores in 2016. Inferences will be made about the health of the store-closing retail companies specifically, as well as the U.S. retail industry in general.
LATEST STORE CLOSING NEWS: All 2016 Macy's Store Closing Locations >>
But one aspect of retail store closings in 2016 (and every year) that gets overlooked is the impact that store closings have on the retail economies of the states where the store closings are happening.
Looking at the 2015 State-by-State Store Closings Roundup, it's easy to see that the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio were among those hardest hit by a sizable number of U.S. retail chains closing a sizable number of brick-and-mortar retail locations.
Trying to analyze the significance of store closings in a particular state is a tricky chicken-and-egg exercise.
Is it that the consumers and the economies in certain states aren't active and robust enough to support a healthy retail industry? Or is it more a matter of a retail chain losing its retail relevance, forcing a massive downsizing (orbankruptcy) that just happens to be concentrated in a particular geographic area?