Jan. 28 (UPI) -- There could be more than 10,000 retail stores that close in the United States this year, directly attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, an industry analytics group said in an outlook on Thursday.In its report, Coresight Research estimates 10,000 closures over the course of 2021.
Coresight predicted last summer that closures in the United States could reach 25,000 by the end of 2020, but noted fewer than 9,000 by year's end. It reported about 9,800 closures in 2019.
Coresight noted Thursday that the COVID-19 vaccine should help a bit.
"In 2021, the rollout of [coronavirus] vaccination programs should result in a partial recovery in store-based sales," CEO Deborah Weinswig said. "However, these programs may take many months to reach a wide base of consumers."
The firm said apparel stores were most affected by closures in 2020, accounting for 36% of the total. It said the trend will likely continue in 2021.
"Although retail was significantly impacted in 2008 and 2009 [during the financial crisis], the repercussions in terms of retail bankruptcies peaked in 2010," Weinswig added. "We could see history repeat itself in 2021, resulting in greater numbers of store closures this year than we saw in 2020."
The analysis says discount stores, meanwhile, are expected to open about 4,000 stores in 2021.