Sweden: 4,222 stores closed last year

E-commerce. Illustration
E-commerce is hitting hard in many trades. It's a mega trend that is proving hard to turn for owners of physical stores.
By Reidar Molthe

1 November 2019 13:16

Sweden: 4,222 stores closed last year

E-commerce is knocking out the physical stores. Between 2017 and 2018, the number of retail stores decreased by 6 percent from 35,953 stores to 33,688 in Sweden.

This is evident from a study developed by HUI Research in collaboration with the Trade Council. A total of 4,222 stores closed during the period and the total of 1,957 new stores that opened did not weigh up the loss in the physical store phase.

The overall rate of change; the change in the number of stores in relation to the entire store portfolio, thus amounted to 17 percentage points (all kind of stores, inclusive supermarkets that so far looks most sustainable.)

Growing e-commerce

Growing e-commerce has, not unexpectedly, hit hard on physical commerce.

Despite a strong business cycle and good population growth, the stores are challenged. Consumers are increasingly turning to digital alternatives and it is becoming increasingly important for retail players to adapt their store network to a new consumer logic.

“A logic that requires fewer stores, smaller areas and more central locations,” says Andreas Svensson, senior analyst at HUI Research.

We see it all over the world; e-commerce is growing fast in most retail segments. Retailers must adapt to survive.

Same trend in Norway

In Norway, e-commerce is hitting hard in many trades.

The last player to label it (the e-commerce trend) is the Vita chain. More than every fourth Vita store now disappears. New owners of the cosmetics chain have decided that 58 stores will be closed.

Among the stores that are closed is Vita Carl Berner, which is the first Vita store in Norway, and was started in 1981.

E-commerce a megatrend

Retailing in Norway is rapidly changing, and cosmetics chains like Vita has experienced weaker growth and declining profitability.

Vita has not managed to adopt to new trends in retailing, mainly increased competition from e-commerce in Norway and abroad.

Many retailers do not like it, but they can not turn it; it’s a megatrend.

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