(CNN) — There’s no way to sugarcoat it: 2020 was a brutal year for restaurants and stores. The pandemic, massive amounts of debt and a shift in shopping as well as dining habits created a lethal cocktail of bankruptcies and closures.
New data from Coresight Research reveals American retailers have announced 8,400 closures this year. Ascena Retail closed the most locations, at nearly 1,200. Coresight anticipates closures will snowball and set a new record this year, breaking the 2019 record of 9,302 closures tracked by the firm.
Business is equally bleak for the US restaurant industry. About 17% of the country’s restaurants — roughly 110,000 — have permanently closed this year, with thousands more on the brink according to a recent National Restaurant Association report.
With lockdowns devastating retail and restaurants — many of which that were…