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2020 Q3 Retail Charleston Report

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Discount shops and grocery stores are trending during the pandemic in Charleston

Key Takeaways 

  • The Charleston retail market absorbed 134,097 square feet during the third quarter of 2020 dropping the overall vacancy rate down to 4.43%. 
  • Quick service restaurant structure is evolving to keep up with customer needs.
  • Throughout the Charleston market, gross retail sales are higher month-over-month now than they were pre-pandemic.

Pandemic conditions lead to new fast casual trends

Quick service restaurants were gaining sales momentum prior to COVID-19 due to speedy service, convenience and ongoing upgrades to food quality - beginning the trend from fast food to fast casual restaurants. Aesthetic changes and healthy option upgrades led to increased business velocity. Throughout the pandemic, adaptive quick service restaurants continue to thrive by adding curbside pick-up, call ahead ordering and delivery options. In addition, many are decreasing the indoor dining area square footage and adding extra drive-thrus or outdoor seating to provide an enhanced level of safety to diners. Furthermore, restaurant owners are looking to purchase existing buildings rather than constructing new restaurants due to rising construction prices and difficulty getting necessary construction materials. Suburban locations are popular for adding new stores so they are closer to residential areas where many people are still working remotely. 

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2020 Q3 Retail Charleston Report

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Related Experts

Patrick Nealon

Brokerage Associate

Charleston

I am a Brokerage Associate and part of the Retail Services Team in the Charleston office. I enjoy working in retail real estate because it is ever-changing with technology, e-commerce and last-mile delivery. I am highly motivated, dedicated, high energy, persistent and bring a fresh perspective to the evolving industry. The most rewarding part of my job is helping people find a space that suits their business. It is exciting to me that you never know who you will meet, who you will run into or what will come your way.

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