Get Ready For More Sketchy Seasonal Stores As Retail Vacancies Rise

Image courtesy of Ben Schumin

If you’re a fan of those stores that come out of nowhere to sell a lot of Halloween costumes and Christmas ornaments only to be gone without a trace once a holiday passes, we’ve got great news for you! A decade-high level of retail bankruptcies and store closures means there’s still plenty of spaces at your local shopping centers for all manner of seasonal pop-up stores.

According to Reuters, real estate research firm Reis Inc. reports that retail vacancies are up, with 8.3% of retail space now vacant. Neighborhood and community shopping centers (as compared to regional malls or outlet malls) are 10% vacant. That leaves a great opportunity for holiday-centric stores and other pop-ups to occupy those spaces temporarily while mall owners look for long-term tenants.

Major closings across the country during the second and third quarters of 2017 included Sears, Kmart, and JCPenney stores, and thousands of RadioShack and Payless ShoeSource stores closed across the country during that period as well.

New mall construction has also fallen accordingly, with a mere 1.63 million square feet of new retail space opening in the third quarter of 2017, or the months of July, August, and September.

More retail closures are inevitable. Toys ‘R’ Us, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September, plans to keep all of its current stores open until after the end of the crucial holiday season, but is likely to close and consolidate some stores in 2018.

Other chains with plans to slim down their bricks-and-mortar store fleets include True Religion jeans, which has filed for bankruptcy, and Gap Inc., which plans to close some Gap and Banana Republic stores to focus on Old Navy, its brand that makes the most money. Starbucks plans to shut down its Teavana retail chain in the coming year.