Milwaukee Retail Market Report
Notable Commitments Largely Offset the Impacts
Of Consumer Spending Headwinds
Discount brands help tighten conditions, despite hindrances. Leasing activity from national franchises, such as Piggly Wiggly and Dollar General, in Ozaukee and Racine counties is supporting local vacancy rates that are at least 100 basis points below the market average. These two brands accounted for more than 200,000 square feet of absorption during the first quarter. Commitments from discount brands coincide with reduced marketwide retail sales growth amid consumer caution, due to potential employment headwinds. This year’s anticipated retail sales volume expands 3.2 percent, nearly half the 6.3 percent five-year average. Slowed spending will contribute to reduced leasing activity metrowide this year, with net absorption falling negative for the first time since before 2007.