The Ticking Time Bomb For Suburban Retail

by MR Magazine Staff

Thanks largely to the rise of e-commerce, chains like Macy’s, Toys “R” US, and Best Buy are shuttering faster than analysts predicted even a year ago, with at least 24 major retailers planning store closures in 2018. According to some forecasters, there’s an even larger retail apocalypse on the horizon. As overbuilt malls, corporate mergers, and autonomous vehicles converge, “the ingredients are in place for major disruption,” said Rick Stein, the founder of Urban Decision Group, a Columbus, Ohio-based planning consulting firm. Speaking on a panel in Portland, Oregon, on Monday, Stein made the case for which commercial areas will suffer most from new consumer habits mingling with technology: car-oriented suburban retail. Already, American retail is overbuilt by about 50 percent, according to Stein. With about 24 square feet per capita, the U.S. has by far the most retail space of any country in the world, with about 25 percent more than the next closest country, Canada. (That’s data from the publicly traded real-estate group GGP and the financial blog Zero Hedge.) Read more at City Lab.