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More Retail Chains Set to Shutter Stores, Despite Robust Consumer Spending

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- After Christmas, many shoppers will return to stores but many popular chains won't be around much longer.

Amid the Christmas cheer in San Francisco's Union Square, it's not hard to see signs of retail doom.

Barney's, which filed for bankruptcy over the summer, plans to close its S.F. store.

Nearby, Forever 21 will also be closing its three-story flagship on Stockton Street after filing for bankruptcy earlier in 2019.

Three Bay Area Sears stores will close, costing more than 300 people their jobs.

Year to date, U.S. retailers announced more than 9,000 store closures -- a near-60% jump from 2018, according to Coresight Research.

"We did go to the mall for Christmas but I do Amazon. I work and I get home late and Amazon makes it very convenient to just go online and order and return what I need to," said Lu Spigelman of La Honda.

This year, shoppers spent more online during the holiday shopping season, with e-commerce sales hitting a record high.

"You know how people don't want to leave the house? They just want to order online and then save more time," said Ronniel Cahayon.

Department stores and clothing brands are being hit especially hard despite a strong economy and consumers flush with cash.

"I like in-person [shopping] because, when we go to the store, we can touch the material and the quality and how we can feel it," said Mei Hu of San Francisco.

Amazon also made the holiday season more challenging for retailers by expanding its free-return policy to include more products and extending the window to return items.

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