The retailers in RBC Capital Markets’ database reported plans for 41,713 new store openings in the next 12 months, representing a five-year high in store opening plans.
In the April issue of their National Retail Demand Monthlyreport, RBC analysts Rich Moore, Wes Golladay and Mike Salinsky noted that “The continued strong demand by this large group of retailers comes despite fluctuations in overall consumer activity, increased payroll taxes, a modest GDP outlook and slow improvement on the employment front—another testimony to the long-term view taken by successful retailers. As such, we find little reason to suspect that planned store openings will pull back in any meaningful way in the near term.”
“Instead, we think the more pertinent question is—where will the industry put all these new stores?”
As in previous months, consignment store Children’s Orchard and restaurant chain Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries were among the retail concepts planning to expand the most compared to their existing store bases. Children’s Orchard, which operates 100 stores today, plans to double its fleet in the next 12 months. Five Guys, which has 750 existing locations, plans on opening 600 new ones in the coming year.
When analyzed based on the total number of planned store openings, Subway, Dollar General and Five Guys Burgers and Fries led the charge, with 2,500, 650 and 600 stores respectively.