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2021 Q4 Retail Charleston Report

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Tourism boosts retail activity in Charleston

Key Takeaways

  • Increasing retail sales and traffic into Charleston brick-and-mortar shops bodes well for ongoing shop success
  • Charleston retail vacancy rates have steadily decreased over the past year to 4.12%

According to the S.C. Department of Revenue, year-over-year Charleston retail sales in November increased 20.3%. The success of retail sales in this market is largely attributable to tourism which accounts for $8.1 billion in economic impact. Charleston was named the “#1 Top City in the U.S.” and “#2 Best Small City in the U.S.” because it is a popular destination spot.  Tourism increased hotel occupancy 35.8%, from 48.4% in November of 2020 to 65.7% in November 2021. Tourism likely contributed to the uptick of Charleston brick-and-mortar retail shops, evidenced by 175,980 square feet of positive annual retail absorption. 

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2021 Q4 Retail Charleston Report

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Patrick Nealon

Brokerage Associate


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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