Over 7,500 brick-and-mortar stores in the United States have closed in 2017. Some malls have shut down entirely. This surpasses the previous high of just over 6,000 store closings, which occurred in 2008 during the Great Recession. Many merchants are down but not out. For 2018, key questions for merchants and their payment providers, including acquirers, card networks, and issuers, will be: Where and how will consumers be making their purchases, and do the patterns and behavior revealed suggest what merchants should do? Answers to these questions can be discerned from the look ahead to 2018 in the following pages.
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