Contrary to common belief, not all retailers are downsizing.
While at least 100 locations each are currently on the chopping block at Macy’s, Walmart and Sears Holdings—not to mention the total demise of Sports Authority—off-price chains and dollar stores continue to expand their store base.
According to commercial real estate agency CoStar, three dollar stores and two off-price retailers are among the top 10 U.S. retailers adding the most square-footage as of the second quarter of 2016, Chicago Tribune reported.
Though Walmart announced in January that it would shut 269 stores, chief executive Doug McMillon insisted that the retailer was committed to growing, but in a disciplined manner. To that end, Walmart tops CoStar’s list with plans to add 11.2 million square feet of new Super Centers and 3.8 million square feet in smaller-format Neighborhood Market stores.
Dollar General is adding more than 6.5 million square feet in retail space, which isn’t surprising given that the chain is aiming to have nearly 15,000 stores by 2017—2,500 more than it started 2016 with. Dollar Tree acquired Family Dollar in 2014 and CoStar said, collectively, the two plan to add 7.5 million square feet.
Continuing to feed into America’s bargain-hunting habits, Marshall’s is sixth on the list, with plans to add 3 million square feet, while T.J. Maxx at seven will expand by about 2.9 million square feet.
Elsewhere, Dick’s Sporting Goods ranks eighth with 2.65 million square feet, most likely down to the 31 Sports Authority store leases it won at an auction selling off the bankrupt retailer’s assets.
Meanwhile, slow sales and an ongoing struggle to stock its giant stores with relevant merchandise isn’t stopping Forever 21 from increasing its footprint. The trend-driven clothing chain is third on CoStar’s list, with plans to add 5.7 million square feet in retail space.
Also making the top 10: Tractor Supply Co. and Ulta Beauty.
As Hunter Harris, vice president of at consulting firm Boston Retail Partners, told the Tribune, “You see a lot of doom and gloom, but for retailers with a really innovative product, really good service, or where it’s very clear to the customer what they’re doing and why they’re different, the consumer will find them.”