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Market Report

Columbus Retail Investment Forecast

2022 Outlook

Higher Paying Jobs and Students Stoke Retail Recovery;
Rallying Investment Market Benefits Smaller Assets

Enthusiastic customers and area academics give businesses a boost. Columbus' recovery outlook remains optimistic as important retail fundamentals are expected to improve during 2022. Despite concerns over the spread of COVID-19 variants, Ohio State University (OSU) has announced plans to maintain on-campus classes, stabilizing the surrounding retail market. Additionally, the metro's job count should end the year near pre-health crisis levels, supported by corporate hiring. Employers including Square, BARK, Inc., Upstart and NetJets have all committed to bolstering payrolls in 2022, with Nationwide, Cardinal Health and other locally based Fortune 500 companies potentially expanding staffs. Together, the strength of these primary demand drivers will lift retail sales volume. Entering this year, consumer spending already exceeded pre-pandemic levels, with this year's retail sales volume projected to surpass the 2019 total by more than 30 percent. This increase has the potential to encourage vendor expansions at a time when inventory expands by a modest 0.6 percent.
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