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While it is store closings that get all the attention -  more than 7,000 have closed this year - there are in fact companies that are still opening stores, with expansion largely being seen in categories that include beauty, home goods, discount and grocery.

Among the retailers in growth mode that are cited in the story:

•  "BJ’s Wholesale is using the boost it’s gotten from the pandemic to venture into uncharted markets with new stores. The company is aiming to open two clubs in New York before the fiscal year is over, followed by six new ones next year.

“Our hope is that next year we’ll be able to open significantly more than we have in the past,” says CEO Lee Delaney.  “We are moving aggressively to make those numbers or even larger ones a reality … We expect this landscape ... will increase our relevance to members and prospective members alike.  Almost regardless of the level of economic uncertainty, we should be well-positioned versus competitors given our low-price positioning and the fact that we have grown our membership."

•  "The German-based grocery chain Lidl is plotting opening 50 new stores by the end of 2021, rivaling the likes of Aldi, Trader Joe’s and Walmart.  The company, which currently has a little more than 100 locations in the U.S., said it will allocate about $500 million to open the new stores. It said it plans to expand the most in New Jersey and Maryland.

"Lidl entered the U.S. about two years ago, opening its first store in the Southeast. Its initial, aggressive growth plans were stalled. But its pace of expansion looks to be picking back up, as a number of regional grocery chains like Lucky’s and Fairway have filed for bankruptcy in recent years and shut down."

•  "Five Below is planning to open 110 to 120 net new stores this year alone. CEO Joel Anderson said it has the potential to grow to more than 2,500 stores nationwide up from roughly 1,000 today … The company, which competes with the likes of Dollar General and Dollar Tree, said people have been visiting its stores during the pandemic to stock up on hand sanitizers, wipes and masks, as well as kitchen and bath products, clothes and items for pets. Five Below has carved out somewhat of a niche audience by catering more to teens than some of its rivals in the discount sector."