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Wednesday April 30th
Bisnow: NYC Retail Real Estate Summit
New York, NY

With the unforgiving polar vortex behind us, and consistent upticks in consumer demand dispelling market anxieties stemming from the Fed’s tapering policies, there is only one direction retail is heading. Up! The consumer is back, and retail is king. Come hear about it from the industry leaders themselves at Bisnow’s 4th Annual NY Retail Summit.

Get 20% off by using this discount code at checkout: retailmls2014

Click here to register!

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May 18-20, 2014
ICSC RECon Las Vegas
Las Vegas Convention Center

RECon is the global convention for the shopping center industry and provides networking, deal making and educational opportunities for retail real estate professionals from around the world. With over 34,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors it is the largest industry convention, making it an unparalleled opportunity to do a year’s worth of business in just three days! If you are looking to meet retailers to discuss new or existing leases in your centers, view the latest industry products and services that are critical to your business, attend educational sessions or find the next deal, then you need to attend RECon.

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Wednesday June 11th
ICSC: New York Program and Networking Breakfast
New York, NY

Join us and gain valuable insight into the dynamic retail environment in the outer boroughs of New York City.

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Thursday July 17th, 3-9pm
Social Retail Summit #7
Dumbo Spot, New York

Social retail is the new approach to customer relations developed by next generation omnichannel retail brands, from online community to offline sales.

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Featured Article
Sutton & Sitt Purchase 529 Broadway
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Jeff Sutton, president of Wharton Acquisitions and Joseph Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities, two of Manhattans big retail investors, partnered together to buy 529 Broadway on the corner of Broadway and Spring Street. Before this deal, the two had not publically partnered together for a transaction, although they often do partner with others. This property is centrally located in SoHo and has about 26,500 square feet of commercial space. Steve Madden currently occupies the space, purchased for $150 million, on the ground floor.

The price includes a base price of $144 million plus $3 million in mortgage defeasance costs, and Sutton and Sitt paid all cash for the deal. “It was a tremendous odyssey to get this building,” said an insider. Zoltan Goldstein, president of Goldstone Realty, owns the building and has been marketing the property for years. With Sutton’s persistence, he was able to finally seal the deal. “The main thing is that Sutton, for more than seven years, called me every week,” said Abe Goldstein, a co-owner of the property and Zoltan’s son.

Posted on December 21, 2012

Featured Article
B-Grade Malls Up For Sale

Macerich Co., the mall owner based in Santa Monica, California, has recently been marketing 16 of their 59 U.S. malls for sale. Fourteen of the malls for sale are fully owned and operated by Macerich. Although the information regarding each of the malls has not yet been disclosed, we do know that two of the malls being marketed include Chesterfield Towne Center in Richmond, Virginia, and Northridge Mall in Salinas, California. Macerich has selected Eastdil Secured and Jones Lang LaSalle to market the malls.

The malls are B-grade malls, with average sales per square foot of $321, which is less than the industry’s average by $55. If Macerich is able to sell these 16 malls, the average sales per square foot of the remaining 43 malls will increase to $511.

Mall owners like Macerich and other large real estate investment trusts are constantly looking to get rid of their least profitable malls, and they are typically able to sell them to private buyers who are willing to accept lower returns.

Posted on December 21, 2012

Featured Article
Guest Blogger Michael Stoler: Discount Variety Store Chains Invading New York Marketplace
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New York City was the home of the famed “69 cent store”, which was then followed by “Job-Out”. These discount variety stores cease to operate and have been replaced by Dollar and discount variety stores.

Deal$, the discount chain with more than 180 stores across the United States, has signed a lease for 10,624 square feet at 301 West 145th Street on the southeast corner of Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. The store is scheduled to open in the spring, sits at the base of The Langston Condominium featuring retail tenants including Bank of America, Starbucks and the New York Sport Club.

Deal$ which is owned by NASDAQ traded Dollar Tree, operated 4,451 stores in 48 states and 5 Canadian Provinces. Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and Dollar General have all grown into dominating dollar store chains. Dollar General is the largest dollar store chain in the U.S. plans

to open 625 new stores this year. Family Dollar is the second largest chain operating around 7,100 stores and plans include opening 450 to 500 stores this year.

Posted on December 20, 2012

Featured Article
Eastern Consolidated December 2012 New York City Retail Pulse
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Despite the troubled economy, New York City’s retail industry has prospered more in the last few years than it has at any other time during the last half century. During the last five years, no fewer than 11 retail developments have opened in the city, adding close to 6.2 million square feet of new retail space, and ten more are currently planned or under construction. Since the end of 2009, the retail industry along with restaurants and bars has added more than 85,000 jobs, which account for 39% of the total job growth in New York City during that period. To top it all off, retail sales in NYC have almost doubled since 2002.

New York’s economy survived the recession as well as it did in part due to new residential and retail developments that opened during this period. Many had been under construction in 2006 and 2007 before the recession hit, and when they opened, most were successful. Tourism helped with their success, but more relevant is that the city had been severely under-retailed and the new stores filled significant pent-up demand. Between 2002 and 2007, retail sales grew roughly 8.4% per year, or 42% total. In Manhattan alone, retail sales grew almost 10% per year, totaling 49% by the end of the five-year period. It is likely that retail sales will have grown by the same rate between 2007 and 2012 by the time the year is over

Retail property sales hit record highs in the fourth quarter of 2012. After remaining steady around $250 million per quarter for the last three years, four transactions that have closed or are near closing will annihilate the previous high with more than $1.5 billion in sales volume.

Posted on December 20, 2012

Featured Article
Starbucks’ 5-Year-Plan

Starbucks is working on a huge expansion over the next 5 years; they plan to increase the number of locations by about 13%, with 1,500 new stores spread around the United States. Furthermore, Starbucks is looking to expand largely in China, making it the second biggest Starbucks market in the world. And, by that time, Starbucks hopes to have 20,000 stores internationally, up from 18,000.

This plan is a significant bounce back from the recession, when Starbucks had to close about 10% of their locations in the U.S. At that time, around 2008, the company went through a big restructuring effort and brought back their founder Howard Schultz.

According to Cliff Burrows, head of Starbucks domestic business, the problem was that Starbucks was not being as careful as they should be about their relocations and openings. Right up until the recession, they were opening about 1,000 stores a year, regardless of traffic information. In other words, Starbucks was rather carelessly opening stores even in places that might not have been so successful. Since then, however, Burrows believes that Starbucks has become a lot more methodical with their business decisions. Some of the company’s most recent openings are their most successful locations.

Posted on December 19, 2012

Featured Article
Retailers Need to Sell Experience in Addition to Goods
Rocking climbing wall inside Dick's Sporting Goods

Between the ever-increasing prevalence of technology in businesses and today’s recessionary economy, many retailers are fighting to stay afloat. There is a lot of pressure for brands to interact with their customers instead of blandly trying to sell products. In 1999, Joseph Pine and James Gilmore wrote “The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage,” in which the two discussed how customers are willing to pay not just for products, but also for services-turned-experiences. Further, many retailers are finding that they have no choice but to incorporate experience-based products into their lineups if they want to survive. Examples include cooking classes at Sur La Table, rock-climbing walls and REI, and golf simulators at Dick’s Sporting goods. With show rooming continuing to challenge brick-and-mortar retailers, stores who charge for these experiences are still able to profit from consumers who eventually buy products online

Recently Pine said, “Any product that you don’t need to experience yourself is in danger,” and retailers are getting creative with making sure that consumers walk away boasting about unique experiences. Take Earnest Sewn, where customers don’t just buy a pair of jeans, but where they customize their own pair by choosing the denim, studs, buttons, pockets, and cut of their jeans before having them made to order. Many hair salons offering $40 blowouts now offer customers mimosas on the side in addition to other goodies in order to ensure that women continue booking appointments every morning instead of deciding to do their own hair at home. Even a company like Red Bull has moved forward from simply selling energy drinks to reposition itself as a media events business by creating unique experiences all over the word such as The Red Bull Race and London Eye DJ take-over.

Posted on December 18, 2012

Featured Article
REBNY’s Fall 2012 Retail Report
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The Fall 2012 REBNY Retail Report came out this week and reveals a positive outlook on the real estate market, particularly the retail real estate market, with an increase in demand, and a limited supply. This upswing in the market can be sourced to the economic recovery, a rise in consumer confidence, and tourism in NYC. Additionally, retail rents are at record high prices. This report shows that the average asking rents on Lower Fifth Avenue are up 13% since the spring of 2012. Similarly, asking rents in the Flatiron corridor on Fifth Avenue rose 16% since spring, and 25% since fall 2011.

Looking further, the demand for retail real estate lawyers has been up. Nationally, BCG Attorney Search clients are looking to fill about 277 openings, with at least 32 of those specified for New York (accounting for over 14% of the total national demand for real estate lawyers). Within this demand, it has been noted that the largest need is for real estate lawyers with expertise in real estate finance, which includes mortgage securitization, government assisted financing, credit analysis, and leasehold financing.

Posted on December 17, 2012

Featured Article
E-Commerce Moving to Brick and Mortar
Online vs Brick and Mortar Stores

In the past, online stores were typically developed as a result of a brick and mortar store. Now, times are really changing. E-commerce stores are finding that their customers want a combination of online and offline experiences with their merchandise. Baublebar is a web-based jewelry boutique. They have recently opened up a physical store because of demand from customers wanting an actual physical experience. According to Baublebar, once customers really like your brand, they want to physically interact with it, in addition to shopping online.

Another example is the popular brand Warby Parker. Warby Parker is an online glasses store. The initial motivation for the creation of this site was that glasses are so overpriced, and providing an online medium would eliminate part of the overhead. The site allows you to upload a photograph of yourself and virtually “try on” glasses. In the case where someone wants to try them on in person, Warby Parker will send a customer up to 5 pairs of frames. Once they decide which they would like, they send all 5 back, and Warby Parker makes a prescription pair for the customer. However, this home-try-on-program can only go so far. Because of customer demand, this web-based glasses company has also decided to open up some physical stores this holiday season.

Posted on December 14, 2012

Featured Article
Year-End Outlook for Washington, D.C. Metro Retail Area Released

Delta Associates, a firm offering consulting, valuation, and data services to the commercial real estate industry, published a year-end retail outlook for the Washington, D.C. metro area, and things are generally looking up despite slow growth.

In short, the Washington area’s economy has seen 37,400 new jobs during the 12 months ending October 2012, and its unemployment rate was at 5.1% in October 2012, which was lower than the U.S. rate of 7.9%, and even lower than the rate in February 2012 (5.8%). Between 2012 and 2016, job growth is expected to average 41,600 per annum.

Economic expansion for the Washington metro area continued at a slower pace than previous expansion periods because of uncertainty associated with Federal austerity and the threat of sequestration—a reduced Federal budget beginning January 2013. However, there are strengths embedded in the regional economy including a highly educated work force, a diversified economy, growing tech and health care industries, a high quality of life, a strong housing market with sustained values, and a destination for corporate and association headquarters moves. Despite the 37,400 jobs added over the 12 month period, the metro areas in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston all outpaced Washington D.C. in job growth, spurred by growth in Professional/Business Services.

Posted on December 13, 2012

Featured Article
JLL Predicts Retail Trends for 2013

Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) predicts in their 2013 National Retail Real Estate Outlook that there will not be significant improvement in retail spending in the year ahead. There is still a high level of uncertainty affecting consumer spending, even with stable pricing and high demand for non-durable goods increasing spending slightly. With Obama back in office, the report makes the assumption that Congress will try to avert the fiscal cliff. JLL still believes there are factors that serve as risks to retail sales, including energy prices, natural disasters, geopolitical instability worldwide, and online shopping.

In turn, this will of course affect retail real estate. Assumptions are that occupancy and rental rates will stagnate. With a few exceptions of large expansions occurring, most retailers are moving towards smaller stores. According to the Journal Record, this has a lot to do with the struggle between e-commerce and m-commerce sellers. The shift towards online sales has caused retailers to move towards smaller footprints. Other retail markets that will probably suffer in the coming year include mom and pop shops, office suppliers, and retailers for physical media including video games.

Posted on December 12, 2012

Featured Article
Half of Manhattan’s Retail Corridors Experience Significant Growth
herald square

According to a report released by CBRE Group Inc., six of Manhattan’s 11 prime retail corridors experienced significant growth during the third quarter. Herald Square enjoyed the largest quarter-to-quarter increase at 30%, taking rent in the area to $657 per square foot. Herald Square was followed narrowly by Downtown Manhattan, where rents increased 28% to $213 per square foot. Lower Fifth Avenue and Times Square both saw 23% increases, taking their rents to $1,118 and $2,221, respectively.

Retail specialists are closely watching the stretch of Fifth Avenue between 42nd and 49th Streets, where apparel retail giant H&M has leased a 57,000-square-foot space—the company’s largest in the world—at 589 Fifth Avenue. Executive vice president of CBRE Retail Services, Jedd Nero, said, “Fifth Avenue has been and will continue to be a major draw for tourists. The line between 42nd to 49th Streets and 49th to 59th Streets is vanishing. Tourists don’t stop at the invisible border at 49th Street. They continue because they’re drawn to Grand Central Terminal, the Diamond District, the New York Public Library, and Times Square.”

Posted on December 11, 2012

Featured Article
Faith Hope Consolo
Faith Green dress

Faith Hope Consolo, the “Queen of Retail”, is the most renowned retail broker and consultant in the country, not only for her knowledge, reputation, and taste, but also for her key role in revitalizing and sculpting retail corridors across the nation and beyond. The volume, size, and distinction of her transactions, combined with her extraordinary experience in [...]

Posted on December 10, 2012

Featured Article
Just Salad Helps Customers With New Year’s Resolutions

Just Salad is taking New Year’s resolutions to heart. People are often self-reflecting and vowing to keep weight off when it comes time to thinking about the year ahead. Just in time, Just Salad, the popular NYC, Hong Kong, and Singapore salad restaurant, is offering a jump-start solution to help people lose weight, and keep the weight off.

Laura Pensiero, Just Salad chef and a registered dietitian, created the Just Salad One Week Weight Loss Program. It aims to bring a nutritious and delicious diet filled with meals that fit in line with most weight loss, calorie, and nutrition goals. The program consists of a Just Salad gift card ($45) that covers 5 days of lunches, a detailed meal plan for all of the meals throughout the week, including snack suggestions, a Just Salad Reusable Bowl, and a Just Salad Reusable Tote Bag.

Posted on December 10, 2012

Featured Article
Up-And-Coming Retail Markets Around the World

Given the current economic state of the United States and Europe, there has been a lot of attention directed at other emerging markets around the world. This is not just because of growth in China and India, but rather because of all the competition that exists in the US and Europe that doesn’t necessarily exist elsewhere. Western retailers are constantly trying to find the tiniest nooks to get into in order to push ahead. However, in other markets where less competition exists, international brands and new supermalls are able to really infiltrate. The following is a list of the top 10 emerging markets, compiled from the World Bank, The CIA World Factbook, WWD, and the consultancy.

1) Brazil: Brazil has $5,514 retail sales per capita. Brazil has the world’s 7th largest economy. In June, Sao Paulo’s JK Iguatemi mall attracted 70,000 people on opening weekend, with 189 stores. On the downside, there is a large amount of inequality that exists in Brazil, which puts the country as a middle-income country lacking in education.

2) Chile: Chile has $4,388 retail sales per capita. Including a free-trade agreement with the United States, Chile has 59 trade deals with countries throughout the world. As far as notable retail news, the first Gap location in South America was in Chile. Similar to Brazil, Chile struggles with poverty and inequality.

Posted on December 7, 2012

Featured Article
One of America’s Oldest Open-Air Shopping Malls Also One of its Newest
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Built in 1954 as one of the country’s first open-air malls, Cross County Shopping Center sits in an arguably perfect spot just outside New York City; the shopping center sits on the intersection of the New York State Thruway and the Cross County Parkway in Westchester County that sees nearly a quarter of a million cars pass through every day, and it draws from the densely populated area that includes approximately 1.3 million shoppers. Recently, a $250 million overhaul was completed on the 72-acre site in order to transform the space into a contemporary shopping destination.

Cross County Center has been owned since the mid-1970s by Brooks Shopping Centers. A conglomerate that includes Benenson Capital Partners and Merchants’ National Properties of Manhattan, Brooks financed the renovations by enticing new retailers and restaurants, and by encouraging existing tenants like Macy’s to undergo a face-lift and add 75,000 additional square feet to its existing 325,000. In 2006 Brooks retained Macerich, a real estate trust based in Santa Monica, California, to manage and lease the property in addition to overseeing the redevelopment. Macerich’s vice president of design and planning, David Piper, said, “While the center was always performing well, the owners recognized the potential of the location as well as new competition in the market.” Working with architecture firm 505Design, the project included redesigning outdoor spaces and storefronts.

Posted on December 6, 2012

Featured Article Helping Victims of Hurricane Sandy
Homes devastated by Hurricane Sandy are seen at the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York

This NYC nonprofit organization helps victims in the aftermath of natural disasters (specifically Hurricane Sandy) through different forms of social media, charitable partnerships, grassroots crowd funding, and random acts of kindness. Their ultimate goal is to raise enough money to rebuild one home (average cost of $300,000.00) for a family who lost theirs in the hurricane.

BeGracious has developed partnerships with IndieGoGo and Reguilding Together in order to help these victims. While BeGracious is rather new, Rebuilding Together has been working for almost 25 years to help bring home rehabilitations and modification services to homeowners in need. They were founded on the grounds that everyone deserves to live in a safe and healthy home. They provide repairs, energy efficient upgrades, and accessibility modifications to low-income families and homes at no cost. They complete up to 10,000 rebuild projects a year, with their 200,000 volunteers.

Posted on December 5, 2012

Featured Article
E-commerce Responsible for 160M Feet of Empty Retail Space
Empty retail space

A new analysis from CoStar Group Inc. says that e-commerce is to blame for nearly 160 million feet of lost absorption of retail space. To put it in perspective, that is more square feet than the entire retail footprint of Macy’s Inc.

CoStar real estate economist Ryan McCullough crunched the numbers for the analysis. Beginning by calculating the average sales per square foot for the 40 largest public retailers, McCullough came up with a figure of $368. In other words, a company whose annual sales are $368 million has around one million square feet of physical space. Assuming that there were no Internet and e-commerce, then every additional $368 in sales would logically result in demand for another square foot of physical space. Lastly, McCullough used U.S. Department of Commerce data for e-commerce that dated back to 2000 in order to figure out how many square feet of absorption those sales would represent.

Posted on December 4, 2012

Featured Article
Eastern Consolidated at ICSC
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Eastern Consolidated has a booth this year at the ICSC’s bi-annual convention in New York City, as they focus more of their efforts and commitments on retail investment sales. “Eastern has always had strong retail focus, but given the new demands of the marketplace, we are now offering an additional level of service for our clients,” said Daun Paris, president of Eastern Consolidated.

This week at the ICSC convention, Eastern Consolidated is at Booth 563 at the Sheraton. They are distributing “The Retail Pulse”, written by Barbara Byrne Denham, Eastern Chief Economist. This report is 16 pages and is the most comprehensive retail report to date. The report focuses on reasons why retail investment has become so popular, and how retail sales could forecast a bright economic future for Manhattan.

Posted on December 4, 2012

Featured Article
ICSC 2012 New York National Conference & Deal Making
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ICSC’s 2012 New York National Conference & Deal Making is taking place today and tomorrow at The Hilton New York and Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers. According to The Real Deal, about there will be about 7,000 attendees this year, all part of the real estate community. The conference works as a networking event for those in the retail and real estate industry. Several notable people will be speaking over the course of the conference, opening on Monday morning with Governor Richard A. Baker, and Jonathan D. Gray (Global Head of Real Estate, The Blackstone Group), who will both be speaking as part of the ‘General Session’. Adria Savarese, Associate at JP Morgan Asset Management, spoke as the recipient of the Mary Lou Fiala Fellow for 2012. Retail Runway, which took place at 10:30 this morning, consisted of Au Bon Pain, Blink/Soul Cycle/Equinox, Casual Male, Century 21 Department Stores, Davd & Busters, Fresh Market, Hand & Stone, Jersey Mikes, Kings Markets/Balducci, Noodles, and PGA Superstore. Michael P. Kercheval, President & CEO of ICSC, gave an industry update following lunch, and Brad Hutensky, ICSC Chairman and President & Principal of Hutensky Capital Partners, spoke about on an ‘Outlook for Retail Real Estate’.

A big part of the event is the Women’s SIG. This portion of the conference consists of a panel of leaders from growing restaurant chains and research companies offering advice and views regarding success in the restaurant business. Faith Hope Consolo of Prudential Douglas Elliman will be moderating the panel. Monday will close with a Member-Hosted Cocktail Reception.

Posted on December 3, 2012

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