If you’re noticing a lot of stores in Colorado have been shutting down recently, you’re not alone. 

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Within the past year, we’ve seen big box stores like Big Lots shut their doors along with both the Loveland’s and Fort Collins’ Bed Bath and Beyond leaving town. 

This may seem like nothing special. Across the country, brick-and-mortar stores are closing at a truly staggering rate.  

However, the data shows that Colorado has been experiencing a decline in these stores at a higher rate than most. 

Colorado Ranks 10th in Largest Decline in Brick-and-Mortar Stores


According to Longview News-Journal, who crunched the numbers of a study done by Upgraded Points, Colorado is experiencing the 10th worst decline in brick-and-mortar stores in the country. 

The state’s overall decline in retail stores since 2011 has been -15.8%, which is higher than the national average of -12.6%. 

In 2011, there were 3.4 retail stores per one thousand people. In 2021, that number dropped down to 2.9 stores per one thousand. 

Between 2011 and 2021, Colorado lost 512 retail stores. As we have seen over the last few years, that number has likely gone up exponentially. 

The worst metro area in Colorado for brick-and-mortar store closures was the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area, which saw the loss of 86 stores between 2011 and 2021. 

In the Upgraded Points study, that puts it at 16th worst in the entire nation.

What is Causing the Closure of So Many Brick-and-Mortar Stores in Colorado?


This may not be shocking for many people, but it is largely due to the increase of sales from online vendors. 

E-commerce has been a major boon for many people in the country, with ordering exactly what you want from the comfort of your own home being far more appealing that driving to a store. 

This was only compounded with the pandemic, when people literally could not leave their houses. According to Upgraded Points, between 2000 and 2019, online sales increased from 0.9% to 10.6% of retail sales. In 2020 alone, that number increased to 14.6% of all retail sales. 

To this day, that number has not fallen back down from pre-pandemic levels. 

On the other hand, online shopping offers people a wider selection of products than many retail stores offer. Specialty stores, like clothing, electronics, and office supplies stores, no longer have a place when people can get the same products on the internet. 

Finally, with the decline in malls over the last few years, many retail stores are getting less foot traffic than ever before. 

With all of this being said, it would appear the new reality for Colorado shoppers is less retail stores, and more e-commerce.

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Gallery Credit: Big Rob

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