Construction Boom

American retailers and restaurant operators are expected to open more than 94,000 locations during the next five years, according to the 2007 Retail Tenant Directory, released by Nielsen Trade Dimensions, a business service of The Nielson Co.

The 2007 directory highlights the most active retail categories, or those that are expected to open the greatest number of new locations by 2011. Four of the top five are in the food category. Topping the list are fast-food restaurants, with a planned 13,000 locations. The women’s apparel category came in second, with approximately 6,500 stores planned. Nearly 6,100 fast-casual restaurants are expected to open and slightly more than 6,000 coffee/juice bars are expected to see the light of day. The restaurant category (includes all restaurant chains not classified as fast-food or fast-casual) closes out the top five, with Trade Dimensions anticipating more than 5,800 new restaurant locations by 2011.

The directory also ranks specific companies by the total amount of current retail space occupied and the total amount of new space planned. Four companies appear in the top 10 of both rankings: Wal-Mart Stores, The Home Depot, Lowe’s and J.C. Penney. Together, the four chains occupy a staggering 1.08 billion sq. ft. of retail space in North America, with plans to open an additional 150 million sq. ft. during the next five years.

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