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These 10 retailers are in enlargement mode: right here's who’s opening new shops

A Dick & # 39; s sporting goods store

Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images

In a 180 degree turn from 2020, retailers' expansion plans are beating plans to close the store this year.

According to a tracking by Coresight Research, US retailers have announced 3,199 new openings and 2,548 closings since the beginning of the year. By comparison, the company recorded a whopping 8,953 closings and 3,298 new openings last year as the Covid pandemic weighed on the retail industry and bankrupted dozens of businesses.

Now, however, the country seems to be going around a corner. The adoption of the Covid vaccine continues to ramp up, another round of stimulus checks lands in the bank accounts of many Americans, and companies by and large are forecasting a strong recovery in the consumer. The National Retail Federation predicts US retail sales could grow between 6.5% and 8.2% this year, with the economy accelerating at its fastest rate in two decades.

The real estate market offers an opportunity for companies looking to grow in 2021. You will likely pay less rent and have more flexible rental terms. A spate of vacancies has made landlords more desperate to fill up space and sign contracts they would never have considered prepandemic.

"Most retailers who survived Covid's dawn are now looking to replenish their new store opening programs," said Bill Read, executive vice president of Retail Specialists, a brokerage company based in the southeast. "The demand for new businesses is currently very robust. Everyone is in a hurry to catch up."

Here are 10 of the retailers whose store openings are slated for this year.

Ulta Beauty

Shoppers line up in front of Ulta Beauty before the opening on Black Friday at 6 a.m.

Aimee Dilger | LightRocket | Getty Images

Market capitalization: $ 18.13 billion
12-month share performance:
Plus 119%

Ulta Beauty plans to open about 40 new Netto stores in 2021. The retailer has allocated around $ 70 million to open and remodel stores this year. The plans provide for 11 locations to be converted and 10 to be relocated.

When the Covid pandemic hit, the store openings planned for 2020 were postponed, the Ulta management team told analysts during a conference call in early March. As a result, many of the openings now planned for 2021 are expected to take place in the first quarter, it said. From the second half of this year, Ulta is also rolling out a smaller version of its business in more than 100 target locations.

"We remain optimistic and positive about the outlook for physical retail and will continue to find great locations across the country," said Ulta President David Kimbell. "We see a lot of growth ahead of us."

Kimbell will replace current Ulta CEO Mary Dillon when she resigns in June.

Sephora

People stand by a Sephora store in the Mall at the Hudson Yards on December 1, 2020 in New York City.

Noam Galai | Getty Images

LVMH's Sephora plans to open more than 60 freestanding stores this year, most of which won't be in malls. Regardless, the beauty business is well on the way to opening around 200 pint stores at Kohl's locations this fall, which will grow to more than 850 locations by 2023.

The business strategy is focused on reducing the risk in suburban shopping centers and getting closer to customers in other ways. With the move to Kohl & # 39; s, a longstanding relationship with the J.C. Penney.

Makeup sales fell sharply during the pandemic, and more consumers are choosing a low-maintenance and casual lifestyle. However, Sephora is counting on the demand for cosmetics to rise sharply again.

Burlington Stores

Burlington Coat Factory Store

John Greim | Getty Images

Market capitalization: $ 20.38 billion
12-month share performance:
Plus 135%

Burlington Stores plans 75 new Netto stores in 2021. The off-price retailers plan to open around 100 new locations and close or relocate 25. During a meeting with analysts in March, management announced it had postponed 18 store openings planned for 2020 this year due to the pandemic.

About a third of this year's openings will be a smaller format piloted by Burlington. This is approximately 25,000 square feet versus the typical 50,000 to 80,000 square feet. The company has set itself the goal of keeping inventory low and reducing costs.

"When you have less inventory in the store, you need less physical space," said managing director Michael O & # 39; Sullivan. "This has significant economic benefits … expanding the pool of potential real estate locations and the ability to open profitable stores in more locations across the US."

Amazon

At Amazon's first Amazon Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles.

Amazon

Market capitalization: $ 1.531 trillion
12-month share performance:
Up 63%

Amazon is tacitly opening more grocery stores from Amazon Fresh, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

Amazon Fresh debuted in Los Angeles in September. The Bloomberg report says the eleventh such store opened earlier this month and Amazon is working on at least two dozen more. A spokesman did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment on the report.

Amazon, which also owns the high-end grocery chain Whole Foods, sees an opportunity to take over vacant properties in order to bring itself closer to customers. Bloomberg reported that some of the Fresh stores are filling empty Toys R Us locations, for example. Hundreds went dark after the toy chain filed for bankruptcy in September 2017. The Fresh stores are between 25,000 and 45,000 square feet, Bloomberg said.

It's not just Amazon that wants to grow. Groceries remain a competitive category, from the low-end to the high-end: Aldi, Lidl, Sprouts Farmers Market and Trader Joe & # 39; s have announced store openings again this year. Dollar General, which also sells groceries, plans to open 1,000 stores, including some with the Popshelf label.

Fabletics

Actress Kate Hudson

Stefanie Keenan | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Privately owned Fabletics plans to open two dozen new stores in the U.S. this year, increasing to 74 by the end of the year.

The sportswear brand for women (and recently also for men) plans to open international stores in London and Berlin for the first time. Some stores have tech features like a leggings fit tool and on-site demos of the Hydrow rowing machine. Fabletics has partnered with the home fitness equipment maker to market its products in stores and online, and to be the exclusive clothing provider for hydrow trainers.

"One of the things we look for when we open a location is … what is the current membership density we have near this store," said Adam Goldenberg, CEO and Co-Founder of Fabletics, in an interview . "We like to use the retail store as a place to interact with our members and hold cool events."

American Eagle & # 39; s Aerie and Offline

Matthew Mitchell, center, speaks to customers while Sierra Phillips fits a denim display in the American Eagle / Aerie store in Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio on May 15, 2020.

Andrew Spear | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Market capitalization: $ 5 billion
12-month share performance:
Plus 224%

American Eagle has seen tremendous momentum with its Aerie brand of lingerie and loungewear for teenagers and young women, which has contributed to an overall business boom, especially during the pandemic. The company expects to open around 60 Aerie stores this year, including 25 to 30 Offline by Aerie stores. Offline is a new sports brand that the company launched last summer.

"We are very excited about the shopping centers," said CEO Jay Schottenstein during a conference call on the results in early March. "This is probably the best opportunity for us to find new locations that are offered to us … at affordable rents for us."

Aerie's growth rate has exceeded that of American Eagle. During the fourth quarter, Aerie revenue increased 25% year over year to $ 337 million, while American Eagle revenue decreased 9% to $ 943 million.

Dick's sporting goods

Kayaks are on display outside a Dick & # 39; s Sporting Goods Inc. store in West Nyack, New York.

Craig Warga | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Market capitalization: $ 7.22 billion
12-month share performance:
Plus 333%

Dick & # 39; s Sporting Goods plans to open six new stores of the same name this year as well as six locations where new concepts will be tested. In the coming weeks, for example, a unique, eventful location called the House of Sport is to be opened in Rochester, New York, which will include outdoor athletics and an indoor climbing wall.

According to its website, Dick & # 39; s Sporting Goods has just over 850 locations today. In addition to the sports shops outside the mall, the retailer Golf operates Galaxy and Field & Stream.

"We have been very selective about our target for new business and the economics have been very good," said CFO Lee Belitsky during an earnings conference call in early March. "There is nothing stopping us from opening new stores, but we want to continue to be selective."

TJX

Buyers' reflection can be seen in a window of a TJ Maxx store in Peoria, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Market capitalization: $ 80 billion
12-month share performance:
Up to 60%

TJX plans to open 122 new Netto stores this year, bringing the total to almost 4,700 locations by the end of the fiscal year. The TJX brand portfolio includes the discount chains TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and HomeSense. Like a number of its colleagues, the company sees the opportunity to land good real estate at a reasonable price thanks to disruptions in the industry.

"With the increase in store closures by some retailers, we are in a great position to open new stores in some of our target markets," CEO Ernie Herrman told analysts in late February. "In addition, we see additional opportunities to move existing businesses to more desirable locations and to look for more favorable terms when the leases expire."

While off-price chains like TJ Maxx and Marshalls have suffered from a lack of internet presence during the pandemic, analysts predict these companies could see a big boom as Americans try to refresh their wardrobes and return to stores to shopping, especially around key moments like back to school.

Five down

Shoppers shop in a vehicle outside of a Five Below store in Bloomington, Illinois on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Market capitalization: $ 11 billion
12-month share performance:
Plus 276%

Five Below plans to open between 170 and 180 new stores in 2021. Ninety to 100 of them are to be built in the first half of the year. The company has set itself the goal of reaching more than 2,500 locations across the country. It has more than 1,000 stores today, according to its website.

"We are playing offensively again," said CEO Joel Anderson during a virtual ICR conference in January. "We feel great that we've got the shop engine going again."

And as Five Below is opening new locations and redesigning old ones, Five Below is also testing a prototype in the back of some stores that host esports events that are becoming increasingly popular with the tween and teen consumers it targets. It has partnered with Nerd Street Gamers, a national network of sports facilities and competitive gamer events, to operate the spaces.

Gaps old Navy, Athleta

Market capitalization: $ 11.62 billion
12-month share performance:
Up 284%

Gap Inc. plans to open 30 to 40 new Old Navy stores and 20 to 30 Athleta stores this year. The company is banking its growth on these two brands, which have seen greater consumer demand in recent years. while its namesake Gap Label and Banana Republic struggled with their addiction to workwear. The company is on track to close approximately 100 Gap and Banana Republic stores worldwide this year, including 75 in North America.

"Our discussions with landlords are progressing quite well and we are making rapid and effective progress on our real estate goals," CFO Katrina O & # 39; Connell told analysts in early March.

Gap predicts it will return to sales growth in 2021 in the hopes that customers will soon return to their stores and spend more money on apparel if they resume some social activities. It is also preparing to launch a highly anticipated clothing line with singer Kanye West.

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