Retail vacancies at regional shopping malls have reached a six-year high - jumping to 8.4% in Q1 2018, the highest level since Q4 2012, according to real-estate data firm Reis Inc. which studies 77 metropolitan areas.
Furthermore, local neighborhood and community shopping centers in 41 of the 77 areas tracked by Reis experienced an increase in vacancies during the 12 months ending March 31.
The numbers show that bricks-and-mortar malls and shopping centers continue to be hurt by shifting consumer spending patterns, particularly the increasing use of online retail. Numerous department stores and other retailers that traditionally have been mainstays of shopping areas have been contracting or have failed.
Reis reported that retailers occupied 453,000 more square feet of shopping center space at the end of the first quarter than the fourth quarter of 2017, but that amount of “absorption” was the lowest for any quarter in more than five years. The completion of 712,000 square feet of new shopping center space also was “much lower” than average, Reis said. - Wall St. Journal.
“The first quarter tends to see the lowest activity,” the Reis report said. “However, this was an unusually slow quarter for retail leasing and construction.”
The death of brick-and-mortar and its impact on jobs across the country comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention to the evolution of e-commerce and the convenience of various payment methods.
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