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Retailers Opened More Stores Than They Closed Last Year

Even though the balance between store openings and closings is finally tipping in favor of new retail locations, fashion retailers have a ways to go before new doors are on par with closures.

Fashion companies opened 2,920 stores in 2021, while 4,108 doors closed for good.

Coresight Research has tallied up 5,083 overall retail store openings versus 5,079 closures in 2021. Other retailers have helped to close the gap between store openings and permanent shutdowns.

Among the retailers opening stores, the beauty group saw 100 new store openings among the big retail players, with Sephora opening 60 locations and Ulta Beauty adding 40 new doors. Bath & Body Works opened 49 locations. Amazon Fresh, which rolled out its first store in September 2020, added 11 more in 2021 and at least another dozen or two are on the horizon. In the auto parts sector, 470 stores were opened among three retailers: Auto Zone, 200; O’Reilly, 170, and Advance Auto, 100. And Starbucks, which opened 1,173 stores—654 in China—in 2021, plans to open another 2,000 locations next year, with about 75 percent overseas. Signet Jewelers opened 87 locations in the past year.

Below is the list of fashion retailers that have either already opened new doors or announced new store openings.


Number: 6

Backstory: This sustainable footwear and apparel brand opened six new stores, one in Illinois, Massachusetts, Atlanta, California, New Jersey and Denver. The certified B Corp opened spaces that speak to the brand’s sustainable focus, and customers can see the carbon footprint of each product displayed.

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American Eagle Outfitters

Number: 50

Backstory: The teen retailer said in January last year that it would shutter between 200 to 225 mall-based American Eagle stores so it can focus on growing its intimates chain, Aerie. The company also said it plans to open at least 50 new Aeries door to bring its total to nearly 400 locations by the end of 2021. The intimates concept will open more doors in the years to come, targeting 500 to 600 total locations in 2023.

BJ’s Wholesale

Number: 6

Backstory: The membership warehouse club said in May that it would open six new clubs in 2021.


Number: 101

Backstory: In addition to the 100 doors the off-price retailer opened in 2021, it also plans to open 120 new stores this year, and aims to open 130 to 150 locations in 2023.

Citi Trends

Number: over 100

Backstory: The 100-plus doors will open over the next three years, the company said in January last year, 40 of which are set to open in 2022.

Chico’s FAS

Number: 50 in-store Soma shops

Backstory: Although the women’s chain is closing around 45 doors under its Chico’s and White House | Black Market banners, it is also adding in-store Soma shops in 50 Chico’s locations.


Number: 40-plus

Backstory: The warehouse membership club planned to open 21 new locations in 2021, eyeing another 20-plus doors in 2022.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Number: 13

Backstory: Dick’s reported opening six new flagship locations, as well as six stores testing new retail concepts. In addition, the retailer in April opened its first House of Sport location, an experiential concept that explores the future of retail through multi-sport experiences inside and outside the store, in Victor, N.Y. A second House of Sport location opened in June in Knoxville, Tenn. The concept features a 24,000-square-foot outdoor turf field and running track, as well as a rock-climbing wall and batting cage. In addition to its core namesake banner, Dick’s also operates the Golf Galaxy and Field & Stream nameplates. Three of the new stores that opened in June were Dick’s Sporting Goods Warehouse Sale locations. The retailer also expanded the number of Dick’s Soccer Shops in its core Dick’s Sporting Goods doors.


Number: over 160

Backstory: Although Disney closed nearly 60 doors in 2021, leaving 25 in operation, it also expanded the Disney Store at Target to over 160 locations. The stores sell movie-related apparel, toys and merchandise.

Dollar General:

Number: 1,050

Backstory: After opening 1,000 doors during 2020, the dollar store opened about 1,050 new stores in 2021. The emphasis has been on expanding into rural markets, a plus for growth as more consumers have had to stay closer to home due to rising Covid infections.

Dollar Tree

Number: 600

Backstory: The company’s new stores operate under both the Dollar Tree and Family dollar banners. Like its dollar store competitor, Dollar Tree is also growing its rural market base.


Number: 15

Backstory: The company is opening more Express Edit Concept Stores in off-mall locations. The leases are typically less than 12 months. It also opened 8 UpWest stores in 2021.


Number: 24

Backstory: The digitally native brand said in March that it would 24 new U.S. locations as part of its retail expansion strategy.

Five Below

Number: 175

Backstory: Like Dollar General in the dollar store channel, this discount chain opened 120 doors in 2020 during the pandemic, and said it would open about 175 new locations in 2021.

Gap Inc.

Number: up to 70 new locations for Old Navy and Athleta

Backstory: The company planned to open between 30 to 40 Old Navy stores and 20 to 30 Athleta doors in 2021.


Number: 100

Backstory: Although the fast-fashion chain said it would shutter 350 locations in established markets, at the same time it planned to open 100 doors in emerging markets that it considers growth hubs.


Number: 18

Backstory: The company began as an online bedding brand and in September said it will expand into furniture. The company, which started the year with 12 locations, said it will add 30 stores to its store network. The retailer added three doors in 2021 and will add 15 more over the next 12 months.

Ross Stores

Number: 65

Backstory: The off-price retailer said it will open 45 new Ross stores and 20 DD’s Discounts doors.

Sam’s Club

Number: 30

Backstory: This warehouse membership club, which is part of Walmart Inc., is on a global expansion spree.

Salt Life

Number: 7

Backstory: Delta Apparel Inc. said its beach lifestyle brand Salt Life opened a new store in Myrtle Beach, S.C. and another in Texas City, Texas, in 2021. Five more are slated to open, with three scheduled to open in 2022.

TJX Stores

Number: at least 120

Backstory: The off-price retailer opened just 43 locations in 2020 and shifted the balance into 2021. New openings were planned across all of its TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and HomeSense banners.

Tractor Supply Co.

Number: 90

Backstory: The rural lifestyle retailer, which also sells apparel and footwear, targeted 80 Tractor Supply doors and 10 Petsense openings in 2021. In April, the retailer said it would expand its Carhartt workwear shop-in-shop concept from 10 locations to more than 100 stores in 2021, with an additional 25 stores in 2022.


Number: 28

Backstory: The occasionwear retailer said it would open 28 new locations by the end of 2021. It also expects to open 35 new stores in 2022.