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Retailers opened more stores than they closed this year: report

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More retail stores opened than closed in 2021, a complete turnaround for the industry that saw so many closures just last year. 

Overall, 5,083 stores opened and 5,079 closed in 2021 through Dec. 16, according to NBC News

The slightly higher number of stores opening marks a potential recovery from an industry left shuttered at times as a result of COVID-19 orders. 

Specifically, Coresight Research, an advisory group specializing in retail and technology, said the figures signaled that the retail world had struck a balance between online shopping and in-store experiences, the network added. 

Additionally, major retail stores like Walmart, Target and Home Depot exceeded expected profits despite supply chain concerns that limited inventory, NBC reported. 

“The fact that retailers are flush with more cash means they are able to stay in some of their physical leases longer and they have more patience to do and think differently,” said Coresight Research CEO and founder Deborah Weinswig, per NBC. “The thing is, you need to have a physical space to mean something to the consumer.”

Despite high inflation rates, retail sales were on a steady rise throughout the second half of 2021. 

But earlier this month, reports indicated that those sales, which rose by just 0.3 percent in November compared to the previous month, were slower than expected after three months of more notable increases. The Census Bureau also reported that while online sales were flat last month, sales at department stores fell 5.4 percent at the same time.  

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