Are we in a Retail Crisis? Over 1,000 Stores Close in a Single Week.

Say goodbye to your local Michael Kors and Topshop.

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Retail

It’s been a difficult week for retail, with over 1,000 stores being closed.

Michael Kors announced it would be closing over 100 locations, and electronics giant Radio Shack closed 1,000 locations across America.

Topshop also fell into administration last week, which means many of its Australian stores are likely to be closed down or restructured.

These companies join the likes of Masters, Dick Smiths, Payless Shoes, David Lawrence and Pumpkin Patch, which have all folded within the past 12 months.

So why is this happening? Are we really in a “retail crisis” as some experts might say?

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman says rent is one of the biggest expenses for retailers.

“Shopping centre construction and store fitout costs in Australia are about 30 per cent higher than in the US,” Mr Zimmerman said to the Herald Sun.

He says the overall price of rent, shop expenses, wages, transport and distribution costs means that Australia is one of the most expensive countries to do business.

There’s also fierce competition with online stores, which means many traders have already reduced their physical presence in favour for an online one.

However, some industry professionals remain optimistic about the future.

“I don’t think [retail] is dead. It needs a facelift,” said Joseph Hancock, a professor of retail at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design in an interview with NBC News.

“Retailers really need to think outside the box on how they want to appeal to consumers to get them back into the malls.”