Even Developers Agree The U.S. Has Way Too Much Retail Space

by MR Magazine Staff

Retail is in the midst of a seismic shift. As bankruptcies skyrocket and investors adjust, a huge amount of retail real estate has become obsolete. “There’s about a billion square feet of retail space that needs to go away, that needs to be converted, for the market to get healthy,” CoStar director of retail research Suzanne Mulvee said at Bisnow’s National Retail Series event in Manhattan Tuesday morning. “If you accept the premise that the pain in the market is about oversupply and not all about e-commerce, I think it creates optimism, and it starts to make all these closures make sense,” she said. “JC Penney owns a lot of stores where nobody lives. So these stores should close, and they will continue to close.” The oversupply is not widespread. In the top markets in the country, Mulvee said, there is an acute lack of product as retailers increasingly are focusing their efforts on population centers with lots of disposable income. But in the majority of the country, malls and shopping centers are losing retailers with alarming frequency, and there is little hope of finding replacements. Many of the country’s biggest retail landlords are selling off scores of properties not in the country’s major urban markets. Read more at Forbes.