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Retail Real Estate's Outlook

David Bodamer January 11th, 2008

Newsweek has a doozie of an article up right now predicting major doom and gloom for retail real estate. (Hat tip to Real Estate Bloggers for pointing it out.) The Wall Street Journal this week also ran a piece with some dire predictions. (If you click to the article through Google News you can read the whole thing even if you don't have a WSJ online subscription.)

Here's a clip from the Newsweek piece:

Malls aren't turning into haunted houses just yet, but they may be on their way, thanks to the recent wholesale shuttering of national retail chains. (This column's long-standing guiding principle has been that when a naturally observed event happens three times in relatively short time-frame, it's a trend. Like, for example, egregious right-wing hacks getting richly undeserved columns in large-circulation print publications.)

First came CompUSA, the electronics retailer that managed to make Carlos Slim Helu, one of the world's wealthiest men, a little less wealthy. Helu spent more than $800 million to buy the computer and electronics chain in 2000. But after years of losses, the Mexican billionaire threw in the towel on the brick-and-mortar business. Last month, CompUSA announced it would shut down its remaining 103 stores. The week after Christmas, Macy's, whose 850 department stores frequently anchor malls, announced it would close nine large stores in Indiana, Texas, and Ohio.

This is random analysis, to say the least.

For one, there actually have been more than three retailers ….

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