The 2002 Retail Market remained sluggish with vacancies averaging 15.61%. Most new construction was confined to restaurants and Home Improvement Stores. The higher than average vacancy in the Haywood Road / Laurens Road area is a factor of several large big boxes still vacant (Grand Furniture, K-Mart, Goodys, and Service Merchandise).
The Mauldin / Simpsonville and North Greenville markets were exceptions with strong growth and lower than average vacancies.
Regional Malls account for over 2,000,000 square feet of retail space with an average vacancy of 10.58%.
Dillards, one of two anchors remaining at the Greenville Mall, announced that it will close its store in 2003.
Most retailers will be focused on profitability for new stores in 2003. No longer will they be satisfied to go into a growth market unless the store can be profitable from the start.
Retailers will continue to look for good opportunities in this market but they will focus on the best sites in a market.
There have been several announcements for large retail projects for the Woodruff Road area for 2003 however, it remains uncertain as to whether developers can secure the large anchors necessary.
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