The beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic hit retail hard. And many retailers are still attempting to recover from this initial blow. But a new report from Green Street suggests that retail strip centers across the country are firmly in recovery mode today.
And Green Street’s report says that strip centers are doing especially well in one Midwest city, Nashville.
According to the report, retail sales have actually been stronger than negative headlines would lead you to believe. Green Street reports that brick-and-mortar retail sales in the third quarter of this year were up 17 percent versus the same quarter in 2019. Ecommerce sales were up 45 percent when compared to the third quarter of 2019, while total retail sales were up 22 percent.
Ecommerce sales accounted for 13 percent of overall retail sales in the third quarter, upo from 11 percent in the same quarter in 2019.
Green Street also reported that key strip center tenants reported strong third quarter results, even with pandemic fears and supply chain issues.
Costco, for instance, saw its EBITDA — which stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization — increase by more than 30 percent in the third quarter of this year when compared to the same quarter in 2019. Grocery store chain Albertsons saw the same, while Petco’s earnings improved by just under 30 percent.
Other strip center retailers seeing their EBITDA jump this quarter when compared to two years ago include Best Buy, Ulta, Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohl’s, Burlington, Lowe’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
In other good news, Green Street reported that strip center foot traffic jumped 3 percent in the third quarter when compared to the same time in 2019.
But which metro areas saw the highest Market-RevPAF growth — a combination of rent and occupancy rate growth — in the third quarter?
Nashville led the way, with a Market-RevPAF growth of 3.4 percent in the quarter. Atlanta came in second, with a Market-RevPAF growth of 3.3 percent. Besides Nashville, no other Midwest cities made the list.