GAS PRICES TAKE A BITE OUT OF WALLET

Drivers are tightening their belts in other areas to pay the higher price for gas, which can run $3 a gallon or more. What are they cutting out? One-third of those polled by BIGresearch, a unit of Prosper International, are spending less on clothing, 42.6 percent are cutting back on dining out, 43.8 percent are decreasing travel and 60.2 percent are driving less. Only 19.7 percent said fluctuating gas prices haven't had a major impact on their spending.

SPORTING GOODS MIGRATION

Dick's Sporting Goods is gaining ground. More new customers (9.2 percent) are shopping at the chain than leaving it (5 percent), giving it a Consumer Migration Index of 4.2 percent, according to BIGresearch. Wal-Mart is also on the plus side with a gain of 0.8 percent while Sears and Sports Authority appear to be losing ground.

THE BIERI REPORT: SAN FRANCISCO

SAN FRANCISCO
SHOPPING CENTER RANKING
Broadway Plaza Shopping Center A-
Embarcadero Center B-
Ghirardelli Square C
Great Mall of the Bay Area B
Hillsdale Shopping Center B
Hilltop Mall C-
Mall at Northgate C
New Park Shopping Center B-
Westfield Oakridge B-
Pier 39 A
Westfield San Francisco Centre A
Stanford Shopping Center A
Stoneridge Mall A
Sunvalley B
Union Square A+
Westfield Valley Fair A+
Village at Corte Madera B

The Bay Area is one of the nation's most sophisticated retail markets. Steady population growth, significant tourism and income levels typically above those in many other parts of the country, provide opportunities for higher-end retailing. Generally, a dearth of new retail development allows existing centers to maintain or enhance their performance. Geography, highways and bridges substantially dictate traffic- and land-use patterns for future growth and development.

Union Square is one of the most prestigious shopping destinations in the U.S. Within the space of just a few city blocks, luxury goods legends such as Gucci and Chanel are joined by successful department stores such as Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue. Foot traffic is exceptional, with tourists, daytime workers and regional residents among the shopping population. Rents trend disproportionately higher in comparison to volume potential, illustrating substantial fixed-land costs.

Nearby on Market Street, Westfield San Francisco Centre has joined with Forest City to add Bloomingdale's and a large group of specialty tenants in fall 2006, further strengthening this great downtown location. On the bay, Pier 39 continues to be successful by catering primarily to tourists with restaurant and entertainment components.

Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek offers an outdoor shopping experience and a diversified tenant mix, creating strong sales and foot traffic in affluent Contra Costa County. In Pleasanton, Stoneridge Mall will add a new Nordstrom, while the retailer's former space will be re-merchandised as specialty retail space.

In Santa Clara, Westfield Valley Fair is a powerful and well-established regional serving wealthy shoppers from an expansive trade area. Santana Row has brought luxury tenants and great restaurants directly across the street to make this area truly a regional destination.

On the Peninsula, venerable Stanford Shopping Center is a beautiful open-air center with a proven track record. Simon has taken the center to a new level through creative leasing. In Marin, Village at Corte Madera is an attractive open-air center offering bridge goods to wealthy customers living north of the Golden Gate.

The information presented for traffic estimates and regional malls is gained from a variety of sources used in developing the Bieri Market Reports. These sources are public and private, and may even include the developers themselves. When traffic counts are not available, grades are determined by reviewing sales of anchor stores and specialty tenants within a subject project, and then comparing those with like projects.

GROCERY STORES NOT CAPITALIZING ON SENIORS

Older consumers shop across the broad spectrum of retail channels, with drugstores and dollar stores proving the most successful at getting top-spending female heads of households to spend, according to ACNielsen. But while individuals 50 and older own 80 percent of financial assets in the U.S. and account for 50 percent of discretionary income, only 10 percent of ad messages are targeted to them. Meanwhile, the number of consumers 50 and up will double in the next 35 years, says ACNielsen.