Holiday Season 2014 Sentiments

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By: Jamie Kendall, Vice President Retail Brokerage

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Holiday Season 2014 in the United States is looking like it will be a productive one. While some data initially showed that Black Friday sales were weak, as it turns out, the sales were not weak at all.

Instead, consumers spread their spending more evenly throughout the month of November and, furthermore, many retailers extended their “Black Friday” sales periods both prior to and after the true “Black Friday” even more this year than in years past.

The New York Times just reported on the fact that U.S. retail sales are rising. This is a tremendous sign for the economy and an indicator that the U.S. economy is cranking up. Part of the reason for this rise is that gas prices have fallen and therefore retail spending has gone up, although this is not the only reason.

Because of these factors, along with several other economic indicators, I predict that we (the U.S. and also San Francisco) will have a very fruitful Holiday 2014 season when all is said and done.

To speak more in depth about the San Francisco market itself, I must tout the fact that San Francisco has one of the strongest economies in the world right now. Furthermore, Union Square’s retail rents are the fastest growing retail rents in the world, coming in at a 30.0% year over year increase. This information, combined with the fact that very little vacancy exists around Union Square, proves that San Francisco’s most premier retail real estate is only headed on an upward track (however, in my eyes, it’s also a pretty good indicator of the general direction that San Francisco’s retail landscape as a whole is going in: demand for retail space in San Francisco is high and, although this is a great time to be a landlord on the rent side, it’s also a great time to be a tenant on the productivity side).

Over the past year, Union Square has been getting set up for a great holiday season. With the fresh blood of many new stores that have opened this year around Union Square (including Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Christian Louboutin, CH Carolina Herrera, and Leica), it’s been a very productive year on the leasing front. Furthermore, Q4 has seen the openings of such tenants as Brunello Cucinelli, Indochino, Neiman Marcus Last Call Studio, Café Coton, and Shop657 (a hot new avant-garde and permanent retail store from The Academy of Art Fashion School) in the surrounding area. This influx of new storefronts means that there will be quite a bit of holiday activity in and around the Square this season, especially due to some of these very well-known brands making their mark in San Francisco for the first time.

But despite all of this talk about the productive national and local economy, it’s important to remember what the holidays are all about: family, friends, peace, joy, and reflection. So, enjoy this holiday season, everyone, and best wishes to all for 2015!

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For more details on holiday shopping trends, be sure to check out JLL’s 2014 Holiday Sentiment Report

About the Author

Jamie Kendall HeadshotAs Vice President of Retail Brokerage, Jamie Kendall serves retail clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. View Jamie’s full bio to read up on her experience. 

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