Mary Meeker just dropped some serious gloom and doom on the retail sector.
Meeker, a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and a former longtime Morgan Stanley analyst, delivered her annual influential tech trends report at Recode's Code Conference on Wednesday. In the report, Meeker predicted that nearly 7,000 retail stores will close in 2017 due to the shift to shopping on places such as Amazon (AMZN) .
To be sure, Meeker has reason to be gloomy.
So far in May, announced store closings are nearly twice that of this time last year, while announced openings are up 20 percent, according to new data from global think tank Fun Global Retail & Technology. Overall, closings have been announced for 3,296 stores this year, up a disturbing 97 percent year-over-year. Most of the shuttered stores have comes from the department and specialty store categories.
"The industry is in the middle of a major disruption, but there are bright spots, including Bonobos' commitment to physical retail. As we've seen, some retailers are continuing to expand, even as store closures are up markedly from 2016," said Fung Global Retail & Technology Managing Director Deborah Weinswig.
In February, J.C. Penney (JCP) announced a plan to shut down 138 underperforming stores. The store closures, which are poised to be completed by July 31, represent 13 to 14 percent of J.C. Penney's current store base and less than 5% of annual sales.
Editor's Pick: Originally published May 31.