Levin Pre-Holiday Survey Shows Positive Seasonal Outlook for Retail

Matthew K. Harding

“From a ground-level perspective, 2017 has been a positive year for retailers within the LMC portfolio, and the survey findings support our observations,” noted Matthew K. Harding, president.

Retailers in Levin Management Corporation’s (LMC’s) 100-property, 14-million-square-foot shopping center portfolio are anticipating a strong holiday season following what has been a generally positive year to date. The commercial real estate services firm today released the results of its annual Pre-Holiday Retail Sentiment Survey, which also reflects an ongoing commitment by bricks-and-mortar retail to capitalize on today’s digital world.

For the majority of LMC survey participants, year-to-date sales and shopper traffic have been similar to or better than last year at this time. Notably, the percentage reporting same-or-higher sales (62.4 percent) through late October jumped nearly 6.0 percent from the findings in LMC’s mid-year 2017 survey and is 2.8 percent higher than the trailing five-year average in LMC’s pre-holiday surveys.

“From a ground-level perspective, 2017 has been a positive year for retailers within the LMC portfolio, and the survey findings support our observations,” noted Matthew K. Harding, president. “Busy shopping center parking lots and more than two dozen new store openings testify that the economy is strengthening, and consumer confidence is rising. In fact, The Conference Board reported that in October consumer confidence registered at its highest level in nearly 17 years.

“It comes as no surprise, then, that more than three-quarters – 76.9 percent – of our survey participants expect sales to be the same or better than last year’s holiday shopping season,” noted Harding, adding 41.7 percent of respondents plan to add seasonal staff. “This optimism is reinforced by projections from our industry’s largest trade organizations.”

For example, the National Retail Federation anticipates 2017 holiday retail sales to increase between 3.6 and 4.0 percent, a forecast that would meet or exceed last year’s growth of 3.6 percent. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) predict a 3.8 percent year-over-year growth in retail…

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