- June 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 6

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Retail may be poised for recovery, though investors remain cautious

by Andrea Zander

After a challenging 2020, retail market conditions improved in the first quarter of 2021, according to Cushman & Wakefield. As the quarter unfolded, government stimulus payments were distributed, the pace of vaccinations accelerated, shoppers became more active, and the retail sector began to improve.

Cushman & Wakefield tracked negative net absorption of –740,000 square feet — the retail sector’s smallest negative absorption since the pandemic first began — and retail leasing activity, while down slightly at 25 million square feet, was above the second quarter 2020 low. Retail vacancy rose 10 basis points from the prior quarter to 7.3 percent, reports Cushman & Wakefield.

David Simon, CEO and president of Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, during the REIT’s first quarter 2021 earnings call, said an increase in traffic for open-air and suburban shopping centers has been very encouraging, and retail sales continued to improve across the REIT

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