In the latest update from RBC Capital Markets on retailer planned store openings, tenants are largely maintaining previously established growth goals. RBC, with data from Retail Lease Trac, compiles a monthly look at retailer demand for new space.
The June edition of the report finds that retailers in its database plan to open 65,291 stores over the next 24 months. The database includes dozens of national and regional chains, although it does not include data from some large firms including Walmart and Target.
In the monthly commentary, RBC REIT Analyst Rich Moore wrote, “[I]t is clear to us that a cautious optimism has emerged among both retailers and retail landlords. That optimism has translated into steady store openings, increasing occupancy, and gradually increasing rent levels.”
Many tenants will start to occupy space later this year, just ahead of the holiday shopping season, according to the report. This will help stabilize retail occupancy rates.
Retailers have not varied their store opening plans much in recent months. Moore sees this as suggesting that, “retailers are unwilling to add to their store opening plans until there is further evidence that the economy is on solid footing.”
Leading retailers in the expansion of new stores include Quiznos, Dollar General, Anytime Fitness, and Five Guys Famous Burgers. Two of the four companies in the Top 30 are dollar store concepts.
Most of the top 30 retailers have not altered their expansion strategies, with a few exceptions. Dollar General is the most aggressive in this front increasing the number of projected store openings from 500 to 1,200. Dollar Tree (+210), Burger King (+200) and Halloween USA (+80) also increased projected openings. Meanwhile, Walgreen Co. (-129) and Sports Clip Haircuts (-40) each decreased projected openings.