JOPLIN, Mo. — 2019 hasn’t been a good year for several national retailers, and it’s had an impact on the local economy.

According to, there were over 9,300 year to date store closings this year, an increase of almost 60% compared to 2018.

Some local retailers like Payless Shoe Source, Dress Barn, and soon to be Sears at the Northpark Mall have all closed.

Kenneth Surbrugg, with the Small Business Development Center at MSSU, says it’s online businesses that have played a major role in those corporate closures.

He says local business owners can either become a victim to that trend or benefit from it.

Kenneth Surbrugg, Small Business Development Center, said, “What we tell people is you can sell out the front door which is the local mom and pops or the local places here in town, but you also are thinking about selling out the back door which is the Ecommerce, the Amazons, the Walmarts, the Ebays, the Etsy and Pinterest and things of those natures.”

Even though some of those national chains have closed their doors locally, Surbrugg says it’s not necessarily because those stores have struggled.

In some cases he says it’s a corporate decision.