After store opening plans reached a five-year high in January, retailers have pulled back on expansion plans for the next two years, according to the March 2013: National Retailer Demand Monthlyreport put together by RBC Capital Markets.
In a slight adjustment, in February, planned store openings fell 0.6 percent from year-end 2012, to 81,467. Most of the scrapped new stores included supermarkets and specialty retail.
At the same time, the number of planned restaurant openings rose to 11,710, from 11,429 in January. In addition, toy stores and stores selling men’s apparel continue to increase their store opening plans. For example, opening plans for the toys and hobbies sector rose 18.7 percent year-to-date, to 342 over the next 24 months. Opening plans for men’s apparel stores rose 3.2 percent, also to 342.
Overall, sandwich chain Subway continues to have the most ambitious store opening plans for the period, at 5,000 planned new locations.