Retail Market Suffers Record 1Q Occupancy Losses
Oahu’s retail market posted a record loss of nearly 329,000 square feet of occupancy during the first quarter of 2021. This is the largest quarterly loss of occupancy to be recorded in the past twenty years, exceeding even the closure of JCPenney’s at Ala Moana Center and Pearlridge Center in 2003. In just the past quarter, vacancy rates shot up from 6.41% at year-end 2020 to 8.34%, as the pace of store closures mounted. Attempting to survive a full year without regular sales proved to be too difficult for some, as many retailers decided to throw in the towel at the start of the new year.
Regional malls bore the brunt of the pandemic’s wrath recording a loss of 247,445 square feet of occupancy during the past quarter. The combination of government-mandated closures of non-essential businesses and the resultant surge in e-commerce retail sales boosted the challenges faced by many brick and mortar retailers.
For soft goods and apparel retailers, many of whom tenant Oahu’s regional malls, 2020 was a continuous uphill battle, as the combination of forced closures and a lack of visitors throughout the year stunted their sales and inevitably forced many of them to close.
- Occupancy losses surge during 1Q2021
- Rental rates decline for fifth consecutive quarter
- Economic indicators begin to show recovery
- Fed’s American Rescue Plan targets restaurants
- 2Q2021 retail market recovery projected to begin