We’ve been hearing about the death of retail for years now. An April report by Credit Suisse predicted that 8,600 brick-and-mortar stores will padlock their doors this year—a shakeout that dwarfs the closings seen even in the wake of the Great Recession. Malls in particular face the bleakest future, with somewhere around a quarter of them predicted to close in the next five years. In a conference call with investors in March, Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne said that the retail bubble had burst and “we are seeing the results—doors shuttering and rents retreating.”
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