A lengthy but worthwhile post at BNET Retail looks at the effects of CIT's plight on retail as well as providing some early speculation on the holiday shopping season in light of what analysts expect from the back-to-school shopping season.
It's easy to say retail is doomed for the rest of the year. But consumer spending's dramatic free fall since 2007 doesn't take into account the massive price reductions of necessary disposables such as gasoline and food in the past 18 months. Shopping centers will be cheap in 2009 and 2010, and investments will be based on trailing actual income, not pro forma projections. But a shopping center's location cannot be replicated, so if the asset is a good core location locally, it's time to buy. Consumers may not return immediately to past levels of spending, but U.S. consumers can't go four years without something new. Major durable purchases will return by 2010–2011, including automobiles. The only question is what tenants are in a position to survive the unknown for that long.
Markets to investigate: Houston, South Florida, Kansas City, Mo., Boise, Idaho, southern Indiana-Kentucky, and Tampa.