Orange County Retail Market Report
Orange County Primed for Near-Term Spike in Retail Spending; Broader Recovery Further Off
Reasons for optimism line up. Orange County enters this year as Southern California’s tightest retail market despite a recent increase in vacancy, an encouraging position considering the lack of conventions and theme park operations dating back to last March. With the metro recently moving into a less stringent restriction tier and California planning to fully reopen in mid-June, a surge in retail spending may occur this summer as pent-up demand for shopping, dining out and entertainment is released and tourism improves. The metro’s sizable populace of higher-earning households that have bolstered their discretionary incomes during the health crisis could further drive a near-term spike in sales. Additionally, the number of well-paying office positions is expected to grow this year, benefiting submarkets where retailer profitability is tied to midweek foot traffic.