A few years ago, big box stores were commercial leasing kryptonite. Today, they are among the fastest growing segments of retail brokerage. Not only are the empty big box stores being filled, demand is higher than supply, creating opportunity for commercial real estate investors.
WHAT HAS BIG BOX RETAIL OVERCOME?
Big box retailers were ambitiously expanding prior to the recession. When the recession hit, stores like Linens N’ Things and Borders went out of business, while other big box bigwigs starting closing locations or downsizing their retail footprint. This created excess space in the big box real estate market. With so much space to choose from and for fear of falling victim to a similar fate, big box retailers were not jumping in line to fill the shopping center locations. In this renter’s market, retailers could be very choosy about the exact location and format of any new or relocated storefronts.
THE BIG BOX COMEBACK
The market has turned around, meaning those who survived the recession learned how to make their model work and are thriving again. According to National Real Estate Investor, Whole Foods, TJX, Wal-Mart, Ross, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Bed, Bath and Beyond are among many of the big box retail chains planning to expand this year. Those retail voids have steadily been filled since the darkest days of the recession. The prime shopping center space has been grabbed up, and with retail sales per capita now up 10% over the pre-recession peak and record high retailer corporate profits, there’s even been a need for more construction.
If you’re interested in leasing big box space or investing in new opportunities, talk to us today.