Research

United States Retail Outlook Q1 2021

2021 brings hope of a retail turnaround

June 24, 2021

As consumers become more confident and return to shopping centers and shopping destinations, traffic and sales increases will lift economic performance and expectations for the remainder of the year.

  • More than half of U.S. consumers have received at least one vaccine dose, which has contributed to consumer confidence and spending.
  • Some markets—suburban markets in the Sunbelt in particular—continue to see more shopper activity, with stronger rent and vacancy performance compared to other regions.
  • Net absorption during the first quarter totaled 5.5 million square feet—the second consecutive quarter with positive absorption seen since the end of 2019. Freestanding retail and strip centers continue to buoy performance.
  • Retailers announced more openings than closings in the first quarter. Discounters like dollar stores are focusing on aggressive expansion over the next year.
  • Malls are continuing to evolve, especially through mixed-use developments.
  • Grocery-anchored centers are top performers among smaller shopping centers.

To learn how other major retail sectors performed, download the full report.

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