Mall Is Well: Retailer Optimism Up In February

Forgive the corny headline, but there’s more than a couple of indicators that the long-sagging national retail sector is gaining even more strength this quarter.  Let’s take a peek at a few:

RBC Capital National Retailer Demand Monthly (NRDM): This collection of positive indicators comes from north of the border (RBC being Royal Bank of Canada) but focuses on US retailers.  “Our database has about 1/4 of the 150,000 US retailers”, said analyst and report author Rich Moore.  Report highlights:

  • The view from the floor: According to the data collected, retail management teams “appear to have grown generally more upbeat about sales prospects going forward”.
  • Retail employment statistics show increases, with sharp rises in retail hiring and average hours worked.  The average work week for retail workers rose to 2006 levels.
  • The analysts “look for store opening plans to accelerate further in the coming months”.
  • Leading retailers in expansion of new stores: Subway, Dollar General, Quizno’s, Five Guys Famous Burgers, and Spirit Halloween Superstores
  • On the rise in planned store openings: gift specialties, package stores, pawn shops, family restaurants.  On the decline: books, salons.spas, housewares, and women’s apparel

Download a full copy of the RBC Capital Markets report here. 











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