It's A Slow Road to Recovery for Retail Tenants

May 17, 2010
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Retail tenants may be seeing some light at the end of the dark economic tunnel. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), retail sales continued their upward climb in April, showing evidence of a much more confident consumer compared to this time last year. April retail industry sales (excluding automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) increased 0.5 percent seasonally adjusted over March and 4.6 percent unadjusted year over year, said NRF president and ceo Matt Shay. And, sales for March and April increased 5.6 percent unadjusted over last year.

“The slow road to recovery is turning into a sprint as retailers experienced a nice bounce in April,” commented Shay. “But maintaining this sales momentum will be challenging,” he warned. “Until our economy begins to create jobs and reduce unemployment, the breadth and sustainability of this recovery remains uncertain.”

The boost in April sales were helped along by spring shopping and seasonal weather, according to Rosalind Wells, NRF chief economist. “Spending on discretionary items had fallen by the wayside these last few years and we are encouraged to see consumers dipping into that pot once again.”

Building material and garden equipment stores saw the biggest improvement, followed by health and personal care stores.