Report: Future bright for brick-and-mortar retail

New York -- The future looks bright for retail stores. That’s the conclusion of a new report by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The report, set to be released in May during ICSC’s RECon Conference, finds that population growth in the United States is now outpacing the addition of retail space by three-and-a-half times.

“As a result, shopping space per capita, which peaked in 2009 at 24.2 square feet, now stands at 23.7. This correction will make way for demand in new retail space once again,” the report said.

According to ICSC research, announced store closings in 2013 decreased 43% versus the previous year.  When new Census Bureau data becomes available, it is likely that both 2012 and 2013 were net positive in terms of new retail stores.

In another positive sign, pure online retailers are looking for physical space. The report cites such examples as women’s accessories retailer JustFab, which opened its first store in 2012.

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