Chicago Retail Market Report
Vaccinations and Pent-Up Demand Provide Brighter Outlook for Chicagoland Retailers
Stimulus checks and inoculations provide retail optimism. More people are venturing farther from home as vaccinations become widespread and capacity restrictions are lifted. Many shoppers are flush with cash from recent stimulus payments or new jobs and are ready for normalcy in their lives by shopping and eating out. During the pandemic, some retail concepts outperformed and are now in a growth mode including grocery, discount and fast food. Amazon Fresh, Aldi and Shop-N-Save are among the grocers adding locations throughout the metro this year. Discounters that signed new leases include Big Lots and Burlington, while fast-food vendors such as Chick-Fil-A and Raising Cane’s are increasing store counts. Metrowide, inventory growth in 2021 will fall to the lowest level in at least 15 years, directing many expanding retailers into existing space and holding vacancy steady.