Cheap commercial real estate fuels retail growth

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CLARKONOMICS: Cheap commercial real estate rents mean that retailers are looking to open new locations at a time when everyone else is feeling pessimistic about the economy.

New figures from CB Richard Ellis, a big player in commercial real estate, find that almost 60% of U.S. retailers plan to seize the day with new locations. The Southwest, from Texas to the West Coast, will reportedly be the hottest swath of growth.

Three categories of retailers in particular are jumping at all the cheap vacancies: Sellers of luxury goods, discounters and the warehouse clubs.

I find this to be particularly interesting because, at the same time, the economic outlook among retailers is lower today than it was a year ago. Yet despite that, they are choosing this time right now, strategically, when so much good real estate is available, to grow and expand. And you know they’re going to need employees for all those new stores!

Editor’s note: This segment originally aired in Sept. 2011.



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