Report: Mall vacancy rate is highest in six years
Though leasing activity in the first quarter of any year is historically slow, new retail lease signings were especially light during the first three months of 2018.
A report from Reis, Inc., said the vacancy rate at regional malls increased only minimally — to 8.4% from 8.3% in Q4 2017 — but that the 435,000 sq. ft. of net absorption was the lowest for any quarter in more than five years.
This came despite the fact that the completion of 712,000 sq. ft. of new shopping center space fell well below current trends. The quarterly average for new construction in 2017 was 3.1 million sq. ft.
Neighborhood and community shopping centers in 41 of the 77 metropolitan areas surveyed by Reis also saw an uptick in vacancies during the 12 months ending on March 31.
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ThredUp plans major store expansion
Another digitally native retailer is making a commitment to the brick-and-mortar space.
ThredUp, the online consignment marketplace, plans to expand its fledgling retail footprint from its current two locations to 10 by yearend, reported glossy.com. It plans to eventually expand to some 100 stores.
ThredUp enjoys a strong following among millennials, attracted by its deep discount prices, fashion brands and the excellent condition of its merchandise. The company opened its first retail outpost last June, at Tanger Outlets, in San Marcos, Texas. A second location, in Walnut Creek, Calif., followed.
With a clean, modern design, ThredUp stores are powered by proprietary technology and a massive amount of online customer data. The inventory is informed by its most active customers, with the selection reflecting the items that are trending in each store’s specific locale.
“When we look at our piece of the retail pie — the percentage of retail that will be driven by resale — we think about how we can be an even bigger part of people’s lives,” CEO James Reinhart told glossy.com. “That’s when you really start to see just how important the physical retail piece is in the overall ecosystem. It’s about making it at as seamless as possible for everyone.”
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