Both retail openings and closings are up to start the year.
Through the end of March I’ve counted 36 retail store openings and 22 closings in Whatcom County. The number of openings is 11 more than the first quarter of 2013, which was a strong year for retail openings. In the first quarter of 2013 we had 13 retail store closings, so this year was a big increase.
Looking over this year’s first quarter closings, I noticed several of these spaces vacated by the closing business were quickly filled. An example is the Big 5 Store, which closed its Bellis Fair spot, keeping open its second location near Walmart. The Bellis Fair space is being filled by the clothing retailer H&M.
With no official statistics that I can find on Whatcom County business openings and closings, I rely on what I spot, news releases and tips from readers.