The Real Deal Miami

Retail troubles to continue, report says

January 30, 2009 09:17AM

The retail market was marked by rising vacancy rates, decreasing rents and increasing concessions, bankruptcy, less investment activity and delayed expansion plans at the end of 2008, according to a report released this week by Cushman & Wakefield. Fourth-quarter retail and food service sales were down 7.7 percent nationwide in the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007, the worst drop since Census Bureau records began in 1966. The sales decline led to a 50.1 percent increase in store closings in 2008. Retailers are scaling back 2009 expansion plans, and retailers such as Borders, Gap, Office Depot and Starbucks are asking for rent reductions and concessions. Retail spending tends to follow changes in the housing market, with a lag time of about six months, the report said. TRD