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US Store Closures 2020 Outlook: Coronavirus Outbreak Set To Trigger Unprecedented Number of Closures

With a number of temporary store closures already in effect in the US due to the coronavirus outbreak, this report assesses the outlook for physical retail over the remainder of 2020. We compare year-to-date store closure data with 2019 and discuss a potential rise in bankruptcies, which may become a reality for many struggling retailers. We also predict the total number of closures we expect to see in the US in the full-year 2020.

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4Q19 US Earnings Season Wrap-Up

Fourth-quarter 2019 retail earnings show that many companies across the retail industry saw strong growth. However, our coverage of the Coresight 100 reveals that the CPG and department-store sectors bucked this trend, with the latter continuing to struggle. Companies across the board have updated their guidance due to coronavirus disruption in the supply chain and demand in Asia, but we are yet to see updates based on the spread of the virus to the US, with the nation moving closer to lockdown.

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US Off-Price Retail: Two Companies Dominate the Market

Consumer demand remains high for off-price retail in the US. We present the defining characteristics of this typically brick-and-mortar market and discuss the top retailers by US market share—including Burlington, Nordstrom, Ross Stores and TJX Companies, Inc—with two players being particularly dominant. This report also discusses the physical footprint expansion of selected retailers, the role of e-commerce, growing product categories in the market and how traditional department stores are leveraging off-price channels.

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VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC)

The four pillars of VF’s five-year plan, announced in 2017: reshaping the company’s brand portfolio, transforming to a consumer-centric model, elevating direct-to-consumer led by digital, and investing in Asia, especially China. Since announcing , VF has transformed its brand portfolio with asset purchases (including Williamson-Dickie, Icebreaker and Altra) and divestitures (such as Nautica and Majestic), allowing the company to focus on activity-based outdoor, active and work lifestyle products. During the first half of 2019, VF plans a tax-free spinoff of its jeans and outlet businesses, which generate around $2.5 billion in sales, to be called Kontoor Brands. This separation supports

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