SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ChainLinks Retail Advisors is proud to announce the release of the 2012 National Retail Forecast Report. “Consumers have been one of the few bright spots of the economy,” reports ChainLinks Research Director, Garrick Brown. “This year’s stellar showing for the Black Friday shopping weekend only strengthens our conviction that the 2011 holiday shopping season will be a strong one, rivaling last year’s performance. With so many consumers coming out early for Black Friday deals, it also supports our prediction that Black Friday will be replaced by Black Thursday within the next couple of years.”
The report predicts a number of trends for retail real estate, including;
- The continued strong showing of consumers for early deals on Black Friday and heightened competition in the marketplace from online retailers will mean that the majority of retailers and shopping centers will be opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day within the next couple of years.
- This year’s holiday shopping season will be a strong one, with sales increases in the range of 3.5% to 4.0%. “Though this estimate initially sounded bullish compared to those of the ICSC and NRF (2.5% to 3.0%), they may actually be conservative in light of what we have seen so far,” reports Brown.
- The ChainLinks Retailer Demand Survey for the third quarter of 2011 showed no change from the levels recorded at the midyear point; seven on a scale of one to ten (one equating to the lowest levels possible, with ten representing the highest levels possible). Yet, most respondents reported a strong shift in demand toward urban properties and deals were taking much longer to get done as retailers have responded to overall economic uncertainty with more caution.
- Though we expect a strong holiday sales season, we do not expect a significant uptick in retailer demand from current levels. “Retailer demand skyrocketed last year after the surprisingly strong 2010 holiday sales season,” explains Brown. “But our survey of retailers this year turned up few chains with such plans. Most cited continued concerns over the economy and political uncertainty. As a result, we expect demand to remain at current levels heading into 2012, even if this year’s holiday shopping season shines.”
- Retail occupancy gains were largely mitigated over the course of 2011 by major bankruptcies and liquidations like those of Blockbuster and Borders. There will be fewer large bankruptcies in 2012, but mid-priced chains will continue to be pinched by an economy in which middle class shoppers have downsized to discount retail. “We see this already happening with the Gap’s plans to cut about a third of their U.S. stores,” said Brown. The next round of retail failures will disproportionately impact malls, lifestyle and power centers.
“Heading into next year, the retail environment will continue to be bifurcated, with the strongest centers reporting low vacancy and positive rental rate growth, but with the weakest projects struggling,” said Matt Kircher, President of ChainLinks Retail Advisors. “We are in a much better place than we were just 18 months ago, but vacancy declines in 2012 will be minimal. We are still in a grind it out economy.”
The full report can be downloaded at:
In addition to the latest ChainLinks Retailer Demand and Market Equilibrium Indexes, this report includes a review of current trends and detailed market statistics (including retail vacancy levels, average asking lease rates and absorption trends) for more than 50 major U.S. markets.
Founded in 1979, ChainLinks is the leading retail real estate advisory services organization in North America serving America's premier retailers, landlords, and investors. We are comprised of privately-owned, entrepreneurial companies in 60+ cities, and 800+ handpicked retail broker specialists.