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UBS: Tariffs could put $40B in sales and 12K stores at risk

May 14, 2019 / Daphne Howland

Tariffs could imperil retailers to the tune of $40 billion in sales and 12,000 stores in just one year, according to a UBS note from analyst Jay Sole and his team emailed to Retail Dive.The industry’s store count contracted 5.3% year over year in the first quarter, the highest rate in at least a decade, they said. Closures accelerated by 100 basis points or 3,125 stores from the fourth quarter of 2018.Some retailers and stores could benefit by picking up share, but the disruption could reverberate through the industry through "inventory dislocations and discounting which would hurt almost all Softlines companies" and could "make some C malls unviable, which would have a knock-on effect on healthy retailers, not to mention an impact on jobs and the larger economy," analysts said.