Colliers International Retail Report Highlights Upbeat First Quarter, Consumer Confidence

Discounters, Restaurants, and Auto Parts Rank Among the Top Vertical Markets for Retailers

May 14, 2012, 08:00 ET from Colliers International

SEATTLE, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. retail real estate industry, boosted by higher consumer spending, experienced a better-than-expected first quarter in 2012, according to a new nine-page report just published by Colliers International's Retail Services Group. Colliers International released its Spring 2012 United States Retail Highlights report, which looks closely at industry trends and a series of retail market performance indicators such as vacancies, net absorption, construction, and rental rates.

Key Findings
Colliers' key takeaways from the report include:

  • Technology Trends: Retailers are allocating additional capital expenditure dollars to technology upgrades expected to improve omnichannel integration, better automate merchandise assortment planning, and enhance the interactive aspects of both the online and in-store experience.
  • Consumer Confidence: Consumer spending has increased but may not be sustainable until personal after-tax incomes increase.
  • Top-Performing Categories: According to the Colliers Retailer Report Card, discounters, restaurants, and auto parts retailers currently rank the highest in overall performance for the first quarter of 2012.
  • 2012 Predictions: Six of the nine predictions that Colliers International made at the beginning of 2012 are playing out as expected. Among them: continuing growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector is driving the economy; retailers are offering more exclusive, limited edition products and promotions to generate excitement and revenue; and high-profile acquisitions, such as last week's Bed Bath & Beyond offer to Cost Plus, are on the rise as companies flush with capital seek out higher-yield investment opportunities.

In the report, Ann Natunewicz, National Manager of Retail Research for Colliers International's Retail Services Group, and author of the report, explains: "Definitive signs of a self-sustaining recovery continue to elude us . . . but we remain cautiously optimistic that retail performance in 2012 will exceed the muted expectations predicted for the year."

"The 2012 retail industry has benefitted from a combination of pent-up demand that has spurred consumer spending, a slight easing in underwriting standards that has begun to move lending, and historically low interest rates that have attracted investment capital from yield-seeking investors," said Natunewicz.

Additional data and insights are available in a complete PDF version of the nine-page report at

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About Colliers International
Colliers International is the third-largest commercial real estate services company in the world, with over 12,300 professionals operating out of more than 522 offices in 62 countries. A subsidiary of FirstService Corporation (NASDAQ: FSRV; TSX: FSV and FSV.PR.U), it focuses on accelerating success for its clients by seamlessly providing a full range of services to real estate users, owners and investors worldwide, including global corporate solutions, brokerage, property and asset management, hotel investment sales and consulting, valuation, consulting and appraisal services, mortgage banking and research. Commercial Property Executive and Multi-Housing News magazines ranked Colliers International the top U.S. real estate company. The latest annual survey by the Lipsey Company ranked Colliers International as the second-most recognized commercial real estate firm in the world.


SOURCE Colliers International