Several factors contributed to the Charleston retail market showing positive growth in 2012. Tourism played a large role in the success of the market, as the city was voted “The #1 City in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler. Further, King Street in Charleston has been recognized as a “Top 10 Retail Shopping Street” in the nation, attracting more and more retailers and consumers. Looking more at the consumers, the suburban vacancy rate declined by almost 1% in 2012, which could be due to the increase in local retailers opening shops due to the availability of financing. Other influences to the positive growth include the Boeing’s multiplier effect, which ripples down to Charleston retail.
Several national retailers entered into the Charleston retail market, including Kate Spade, Hobby Lobby, Garden Ridge, Michael Kors, Colonial Candle, and Anthropologie. Boeing’s continued success, Charleston’s favorable climate and lifestyle, and national rankings by different publications all draw jobs, tourists, and new retailers. These aspects help to set the stage for a successful retail market in 2012, and a strong future ahead.
Expanding on Boeing’s success, it induced a multiplier effect, bringing in about 5,000 jobs, which will in turn bring many more consumers supporting the Charleston retail market. Another reason for Charleston’s retail success is its increased national and international attention in the media. This put Charleston on the map with New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris as a respectable retail market.