It’s an all-too-familiar site in Joplin, empty store fronts. In recent months Toy’s R Us, On The Border, Payless, Gymboree and most recently Sears have closed their doors for the last time.
Just weeks ago rumors started to swirl about the possible closing of Macy’s inside the NorthPark mall and hundreds of other locations around the globe. In January, the future of retail in Joplin was shock again when Pier 1 Imports announced the closing of 450 stores nationwide when they filed for chapter 11 bankruptcies. J.C. Penney, CVS, Bed Bath & Beyond and others could be shutting down stores this year, too.
In total a record number of more than 9300 stores in 2019 –called it quits. Experts believe this year will be worse as the number climbs to over 12,000 major chain stores closing in 2020.
Thankfully Joplin was not on the closing list when Pier 1 released the store locations. But, as brick and mortar stores are consistently outdone and out-used by their online counterparts, the future of retail in Joplin, a town that is based around the service industry, remains in doubt.