In earlier Special Sections we’ve explored long-term changes in the Grocery and Restaurant categories. This year we’ve analyzed 10 years of data on occupancy changes in all retail tenant categories in Greater Hartford, and as we saw in Eastern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire, the social values, shopping habits, and lifestyle choices of shoppers in this region have clearly influenced the retail real estate landscape to a high degree.
During this time period, consumers were hit with the Great Recession and emerged on the other side as more value-conscious shoppers. As a result, the past ten years has offered significant opportunity for dollar store development. Among the big three-Dollar Tree, Dollar General, and Family Dollar-store count has gone from 21 to 43 units, making Variety Stores the fastest growing segment of retail space.
As noted earlier in this report, Medical & Dental Services is increasingly becoming a common tenant in shopping centers as demand for traditional retailers has eased somewhat. This trend is certainly reflected in its number two ranking, with this category more than doubling in space since 2006. Ironically, Drinking Places and Health & Fitness Services ended in a virtual tie, each category upping space by about one-half.
While the recession caused shoppers to be more cautious in their shopping in a number of categories, they were less willing to cut back when it came to pets. Consequently, the Pet Shops & Pet Supply Stores category increased its store count by more than 25% in the past decade, good enough to top the list among merchandise categories.
Medical & Dental Services and Drinking Places also finished in second and third place in the growth rate of new units just as they did in square footage.
The charts below track percentage changes in expansion and contraction by major retail tenant categories from 2006 through 2016 by square footage.
Bob Sheehan, Vice President of Research
The 2016 KeyPoint Report for Greater Hartford, CT will be available very soon. The 2016 KeyPoint Reports for Eastern Massachusetts/Greater Boston and Southern New Hampshire are available now at KeyPointPartners.com.