Retailers are eager to double down on brands that remained strong throughout the pandemic-induced recession. Or, they’re excited to test fresh concepts that can bring in new customers. And less-expensive rents are making these opportunities irresistible. Year to date, retailers in the U.S. have announced 3,199 store openings and 2,548 closures, according to tracking by Coresight Research. The firm tracked a whopping 8,953 closures, along with just 3,298 openings, last year, as the pandemic upended the retail industry and pushed dozens of businesses into bankruptcy. Looking further back, there were a total of 4,548 openings announced by retailers in 2019, and 3,747 in 2018, Coresight said. So far in 2021, openings are already on pace to top each year prior, it said. For the first time in years, retailers across the country are planning to open more stores than they are closing. From Ulta Beauty and Sephora to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Five Below and TJ Maxx, businesses are rebounding from the Covid pandemic and dusting off expansion plans that were put on hold. In the latest example, athletic apparel retailer Fabletics said Thursday that it will open two dozen stores in the United States this year. Click to read more at www.cnbc.com.