Levin Management today released the results of its annual January Retail Sentiment Survey of store managers within its 95-property, 13 million-square-foot portfolio.
The poll, despite being conducted at the outset of the current stock market volatility, shows a generally positive outlook for 2016.
In fact, an impressive 68.1 percent of the survey respondents said they are optimistic about the coming year. “We really are at a transitional time for retail, with factors like positive job growth, low gas pricing and the housing market uptick working in the industry’s favor,” noted Levin Management President Matthew K. Harding.
“We also are witnessing a growing synergy between in-store and online purchasing, and its benefits for bricks-and-mortar.”
Industry sources are also predicting respectable performance. Kiplinger anticipates retail will grow approximately 4 percent this year. Trading Economics expects 3.6 percent growth.
At the same time, a significant number (20.5 percent) of Levin survey participants expressed indecision in gauging what 2016 will bring.
“The unseasonably warm fall and early winter, and what has become a longer – and therefore more diluted – holiday shopping season impacted sales for some retailers,” he added. “As such, it makes sense that our tenants are expressing some remaining uncertainty.”