The holiday surge

The 2017 Holiday season saw national sales increase 4.9%, the largest annual jump since 2011. Across the entire retail sector there were more store openings than closures with 14,000 openings and 10,000 closures. Specialty stores saw the highest number of closures and fast food had the highest number of openings. The Albuquerque retail market ended the year with moderate positive absorption. Vacancy decreased 12 basis points from 8.20% to 8.08%.

New Mexico reported $21.8 billion in total sales for 2017, $2.4 billion or 11% of which was returned, mirroring national retail sales exactly. Nationally, total retail sales were $3.5 trillion with $0.39 trillion returned. This strong holiday season is being attributed to the nation’s low unemployment rate, which generated additional disposable income for Americans.

Key factors this quarter

  • 2017 holiday sales were strong. New Mexico’s sales and returns nearly replicated the national sales stats.
  • Many openings are slated for 2018, including both new to market concepts and expansion by existing retailers.
  • Mergers and acquisitions and the emergence of new, exciting and experiential concepts have growing influence across the entire industry.