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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

U.S. Retailer Industry Foot Traffic Analysis | May 2024

Retail property

The retail sector is seeing some intriguing shifts in trends, providing both opportunities and challenges for investors. Colliers' National Commercial Real Estate Report for May 2024 offers a detailed look at the dynamics influencing retail spaces. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know.

Positive Shifts in Retail Investment

Overall, May 2024 brought good news for retail property owners. There was a 3.76% increase in asking prices per square foot, accompanied by a slight compression in cap rates from 6.82% to 6.6%. This combination indicates a favorable market for sellers, though it’s important to note that asking rents does not always translate directly to tenant payments. Concessions during lease negotiations can affect the net rent received.

Retail Sector Performance

The retail sector experienced the most significant growth among various asset types, with a 7.33% increase in prices per square foot. This growth is partially due to a decrease in supply and a slowdown in new developments, naturally pushing prices upward. However, there’s a limit to how much rents can increase before tenants reach their financial ceiling.

According to Colliers, the foot traffic in retail spaces rose by 4.8% over the year. Specific categories within retail saw varied changes:

- Apparel stores: 5.5% increase in in-store visits and a 4.0% rise in sales.

Table of top retailers

- Grocery stores: 2.8% increase in sales and a 2.5% rise in visits.

Table of top grocers

- Discounters: Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar saw significant foot traffic increases, 6.62%, 6.94%, and 7.46% respectively.

Table of top discounters

These figures suggest that consumers are still investing in retail, driven by factors like favorable weather, Memorial Day promotions, and moderated food inflation.

While some sectors in commercial real estate are thriving, others face significant challenges, providing key insights for investors.

Department Stores: Department stores like Macy’s, Nordstrom, and Bloomingdale’s are losing foot traffic despite an overall U.S. increase, highlighting a highly competitive market.

Table of top department stores

Home Improvement: The home improvement sector is cooling with significant drops in visits to IKEA, The Home Depot, and Lowe’s, indicating reduced consumer spending on home projects.

Table of top home improvement & housewares

Health & Fitness: Health and fitness retailers are struggling with declining visits, reflecting a shift towards home workouts and flexible fitness options.

Table of top health & fitness companies

Regional Highlights

The top markets for per-square-foot asking prices were:

- New York City: $644.18 (4.65% growth)

- San Diego: $652.75 (10.04% growth)

- San Francisco: $614.08 (37.59% growth)

- Miami: $528.49 (46.77% growth)

- Los Angeles: $454.15 (11.63% growth)

Other notable markets include Austin, Las Vegas, Denver, Houston, and Phoenix, each showing varied trends in asking prices and growth percentages. These regional differences highlight the importance of market-specific strategies for investors.

Insights for Retail Investors

The report underscores the importance of adaptability and awareness of market trends for retail investors. The rise in foot traffic and sales and the ability to command higher rents make retail an attractive sector. However, potential investors must also be mindful of the limitations imposed by tenant financial capacities and the broader economic environment.


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