2021 began strong for St. Louis retailers, with sales increasing by 5.8%* – the best we’ve seen since the previous October. With all sectors of retail growing continually, it was reported that there was an 11% increase in brick and mortar sales.* Overall, the retail sector has seen improvement, however, it’s not growing at the same rate for all categories in our region. Big box retailers, DIY, Discounters etc., continue to do well for in-person shopping, while for soft goods, such as apparel are the needle is moving very slowly.
Of course, internet shopping is still going strong, but it has slowed from the insurgency we saw in the early pandemic stages of early to mid 2020. It is apparent, shoppers are returning to physical stores, as it is reported that shoppers are suffering from online fatigue and yearn for a a physical experience of going out and interacting with items and people. Good news for retail real estate!
St. Louis Metro Retail Real Estate Post-Pandemic Is Looking Good
Retail real estate recovery anticipated to start mid-2021, maybe sooner.
With vaccines now a reality, the road is being paved for an economic recovery and a CRE rebound. The economic adjustment may still be cringe-worthy, but the possibility of a return to normalcy for most sectors within the year is now a genuine viewpoint. Much of the consumer and economic buoyancy we are currently experiencing is tied to anticipation of national and regional restrictions being removed.
Although, Essential retailers are still thriving, over 50% of the retail markets in the U.S. are in still in decline. It is uncertain what consumer shopping habits will look like; if customers will return to the stores or if the mass implementation of e-commerce will stay the norm. However, there is good news coming down the pike, many national and regional reports expect consumer behavior to restore some of the market share to bricks and mortar retail properties by Q3 2021.
In most major US cities there are a variety of real estate firms advertising for your business. Many are national companies, others are local boutique specialists. Some things remain the same across these firms, like commissions, standard paperwork, etc. Yet, there are some differences too.
Here are some of the reasons savvy commercial real estate investors trend towards local boutique firms…
- Experienced Real Estate AgentsBig national chains thrive on bringing in new trainees. Unfortunately, statistics from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) show that the majority of agents don’t make it through the first year. There is a lot to learn, the need to make strong connections in the local community, and big investments to be made. Boutique firms tend to only hire hand selected agents with a proven track record of deal volume and professionalism.
- Team WorkIn big offices with hundreds of agents it is often a cut-throat environment. Everyone is working against each other to survive by any means necessary, and there is generally little to no support from the top. At boutique firms sometimes the entire office can be dedicated to one client and getting a property sold. It is a different, collaborative environment where seasoned professionals are working together for the greater good.
- Quality over QuantityAt boutique commercial property companies, business is about relationships and delivering a great experience that enhances the brand as great results are delivered. That can stand in stark contrast to the used car lot mentality of transactional and quantity driven agencies.
- SpeedAt companies with tight in-house marketing departments and teams, your listings can get on the market immediately to take best advantage of current opportunities, rather than being bogged down by solo agents trying to wear a dozen hats or fragmented processes.
- Community CentricBoutique firms are owned and operated by members of the local community who have dedicated themselves to the area and having a positive impact. That’s versus those that are just diving in and out of markets where they can make a quick buck. And that’s fueled by the passion of the owners, working on something they really care about every day.
- Results OrientedLocal commercial real estate companies can’t just rest on the laurels of a national logo. They have to produce results and deliver real value to each client if they want to maintain their brand, reputation, and clients.