Survey: 92% of retailers plan to increase openings

Los Angeles A survey of U.S. retailers conducted by Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis, the world’s biggest commercial property broker, showed that 92% are planning to increase store openings this year.

The report, “Shop Talk -- A Retailer’s Perspective,” also finds that despite an improving economy, nearly all the retail executives surveyed believe that retailers will either fall or remain flat throughout the remainder of 2010.

“Our survey shows that retailers are increasingly more confident about their growth plans for 2010, and even more so for 2011,” said Anthony Buono, executive managing director of CBRE Retail Services in the Americas. “Although they remain cautious as to the overall impact of the global economy on the domestic market, most remain optimistic about their prospects for their own businesses, near- term as well as long-term.”

The findings in the report include:

  • Ninety-two percent of respondents were planning to increase the number of new store openings anywhere from 5% to 200%. Of the retailers that had expansion plans, 66% of the requirements were for stores smaller than 10,000 sq. ft. Only 8% of respondents were planning on reducing the number of locations in 2010.

  • Forty-eight percent of respondents think that rental rates will continue to fall in 2010, and 43% think  that rental rates will remain flat. The respondents that expected rental rates to increase were mostly global or regional retailers with space requirements under 25,000 sq. ft.

  • Seventy-three percent of retailers were able to negotiate tenant improvements with their landlords in the past year. Among that segment of survey responders, 65% stated that rent reductions were the most common incentive, followed by limited tenant improvements to space and the right to terminate early.

  • While 70% of respondents are currently using social networks to increase branding and marketing of their products, only 38% felt that these efforts were adding value and 56% felt that it was too early to gauge the impact.

The report surveyed more than 100 retail executives across all business lines and was conducted between March and April of 2010. More than 60% of the retailers surveyed were either global or national in scope. Respondents included a cross-section of participants from various retail categories (including apparel & accessories, discount stores, restaurants, electronics & appliances and home furnishings) located in a wide range of retail property types (including regional centers, community centers and power centers).

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