A Bright Spot in the Retail Sector
For the last year it hasn’t been possible to walk down the street, turn on the tv or scroll through your news feed without hearing about the retail apocalypse. It’s true - things are grim in the retail sector, due largely to the emergence of e-commerce. What you don’t hear about is growth in the retail sector, but I’m here to tell you that it is happening and there are some serious opportunities.
CBRE recently shared data with our team at Stirling Properties: From 2013-2018, restaurants and bars accounted for 36% growth in number of stores. Grocery stores accounted for 18% growth over the same time period. While many retailers are going bankrupt and closing stores across the country, the food and beverage industry is booming! Fortunately, e-commerce is not a big competitor for food and beverage; it represents only 2% of sales in this market. A competition has developed between restaurants and grocers which has benefited both sectors; grocers are competing at an unprecedented rate by offering pre-packaged and “to-go” meals and snacks.
Grocers have also gotten smart about targeting the millennial generation. By combining the ease of e-commerce with their product, millennials are more inclined to shop at grocery stores that offer online ordering with curbside pick-up or even delivery services.
As an investor, the grocery-anchored strip centers are a safe bet and referred to as the investment “darling”. In core markets with top grocers these shopping center types are performing extremely well, especially since grocers have proven their resilience with e-commerce nipping at their heels.
Ultimately, the overall retail sector is going to continue to struggle until a balance can be developed with e-commerce, but in the meantime the food and beverage industry might be worth a look…because we all have to eat!