Not Another End Of Year Summary

  • Insights
by Anya Chan, Director, Research & Analysis

As another year of constant change and uncertainty zooms by us, it’s easy to get lost in all of the year-end summaries and metrics bombarding our inbox. Retail is… expanding… struggling… changing.


At Streetsense, we always start with the data, but don’t end there. We value the power of data and recognize that it is only as good as its context and the story it tells. And that any one data point in isolation can tell an incomplete story.


Having said that, the national retail metrics look good. According to the 2022 CoStar Retail National Report, over the past year, we’ve seen a total 47.5 million SF of retail deliver nationwide, while maintaining an overall low vacancy rate of 4.3%. Retail sales hit a record high of $384 billion in September, 30% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Conversely, over 17 million SF of obsolete retail space has been demolished since the beginning of the year. This all speaks to a retail industry that is in expansion mode.


However, at the end of the day (or year), no retail environment is the same and each one has been impacted differently.


Reflecting on a year of exciting projects, I am reminded of how dynamic the retail industry is. Working with a spectrum of clients, from cities and counties to family-owned and multi-national owners and developers, we’ve seen those diverse impacts firsthand. We’ve helped many clients understand the highest and best use for their failing malls, those wanting to give their tired shopping centers new life, and cities looking for ways to revitalize their downtowns.


It’s not always struggling environments, some of our best clients are those looking for ways to build on their existing successes. We’ve worked with clients looking to diversify their successful assets, and bring completely new and innovative experiences to their markets. And of course, many clients rethinking how to integrate multifamily residential to create an active mixed-use environment.   


In the many markets that are over-retailed, we’ve often been asked, “if not retail, then what?” This is a question we’ve put a lot of thought towards, and like everything, the answer is never the same. We will outline many of these alternative uses in our end-of-year thought leadership piece, coming in early 2023!


So here’s to another year of change, uncertainty, but most importantly, resilience!


By determining highest and best use, defining market insights and trends, and helping clients understand their target audiences and how to build for, attract, and communicate with them, our Research and Analysis team defines the market insights and trends that fuel all of our multidisciplinary services—ranging from Branding and Real Estate Strategy to Public Non-Profit Solutions.


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