Tuesday, January 27, 2009
For Apparel stores, Corte Madera is the place to go. More than a third of the County's sales at apparel stores take place here. The Village at Corte Madera captures almost all of these sales and it's share has probably strengthened since then. Since 2007 several new apparel stores have opened at The Village, including Abercrombie & Fitch, True Religion, Martin & Osa, Puma and Michael Stars.
General Merchandise is also strong at Corte Madera (think Nordstrom & Macys), with San Rafael (Northgate department stores) also getting a quarter of total county sales. The winner however is Novato, with the big boxes at Vintage Oaks (Costco, Target) helping the city take a third of county sales.
Sales at Eating and Drinking places is by contrast widely distributed across the county. Almost half of sales in these outlets occur outside the big four cities. Marinites are lucky to have many options in this category, with multiple eateries available in towns such as Tiburon, Sausalito, San Anselmo and Larkspur.
When it comes to Furnishings & Appliances, San Rafael takes the prize, capturing almost 50% of Marin County sales. Big boxes along 101 and Bellam, and smaller furniture and homewares outlets along Fourth Street, help make San Rafael the destination of choice for these purchases.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
- The largest retail sales category is motor vehicles, with sales of over $600 million across the county in 2007.
- Aside from Other retail stores, the next largest categories are General Merchandise stores (such as Macy's, Target etc) and Eating & Drinking Places.
- San Rafael captures the largest slice of retail sales, with $1.3 billion or 38% of sales in Marin in 2007. San Rafael extends over quite a large area, which includes the downtown area, Northgate Mall, the big box retail along 101, Montecito Plaza and Home Depot.
- Novato is the second largest city, with 18% of the total, or $595 million. Most of this is drawn through Vintage Oaks.
- Corte Madera, with sales of $450 million, or 14% of the total, takes third place.
- The city with the greatest increase in sales was San Anselmo, with growth of $9.9 million, or 14% between 2006 and 2007. I don't recall any major retail changes taking place, so I wonder if the change reflects the impact of the floods on New Years Day 2006, which took out many downtown businesses for several weeks.
- Mill Valley also had a good 2007, up $6.9 million or 3.7% in 2007, possibly as a result of new store openings at Strawberry Village.
- Corte Madera recorded the greatest fall in sales over the period, down $4.2 million or 0.9% in 2007. This may reflect refurbishment work at the Town Center (Barnes & Noble) and The Village, which went through a program of renovations in 2007.
The BoE data also provides details of sales by retailer category. Unfortunately, the Board is in the process of changing how it classifies businesses, so we can't do a meaningfull comparison with previous years. I'll publish some charts with this data later this week.
Friday, January 16, 2009
"The key to the success of the country mart concept is its welcoming environment with its exceptional public spaces, essential local services, restaurants and extraordinary boutique shops,” says Rosenfeld & Co principal James Rosenfield. “But what sets the country mart apart from other retail concepts is the architecture that takes into consideration the human scale, something that has been largely forgotten in the monumental focus of today's malls and large retail centers."
Friday, January 9, 2009
But which grocer will it be? Woodland Market? Andronicos? Mollie Stones? Or maybe the Boardwalk Market that is scheduled to lose its Tiburon lease in 2 years? A few other potential candidates not already in Marin are Draegers, Bristol Farms, Napa's Oakville Grocery perhaps?
There are plenty of candidates but also plenty of hurdles to get over before that lease is signed. The biggest Safeway in the county has recently opened half a mile away at Hamilton, and the county's biggest Whole Foods is under construction in Novato. Oh, and we're also in the middle of the biggest drop in consumer spending in living memory.
But let's hope a deal gets done and the owner's investment in upgrading the Plaza pays off.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
“So much of consumer spending depends on the wealth effect,” said Victor Calanog, director of research at Reis. “Unfortunately, all three conditions are still in flux. Even when they stabilize we often observe anywhere from a 12- to 24- month lag until commercial retail properties begin benefiting.”
US mall vacancy rates increased to 7.1% in 4Q 2008, with shopping centers rising to 8.9%.
Meanwhile, retailers are exerting pressure on landlords to lower rents as the recession impacts their sales. Leasing conditions are the toughest they've been for several years, with landlords having to decide whether to offer concessions or force retailers into liquidation.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Monday, January 5, 2009
Marin County fared better than the state as a whole, with sales up a marginal 0.1% for the quarter and 1.7% up for the year. This is the worst performance since 2002, when retail sales declined following the fallout from the tech crash. The chart below shows the quick turnaround that occurred in 2003 and 2004: as the Fed loosened the money supply people went on a mammoth shopping spree. It will be interesting to see whether a similar bounce back occurs as quickly this time.