While high-profile bankruptcies of big-box retailers have monopolized industry headlines, the data for Houston’s brick-and-mortar retail space tells a very different story. Rents are on the rise, occupancy levels stand at around 94 percent, and there are over 3.7 million sq. ft. under construction as developers rush to keep up with demand.
TOYS R US puts its toys away
The giant toy store is closing all of its 735 Toys R Us and Babies R Us locations nationwide on Friday, including 65 locations in Texas, and affecting around 33,000 employees. The 18 Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores in Houston comprise nearly 675,000 sq. ft. of total space and span from a 3,200 sq. ft. express store in Texas City to a 65,522 sq. ft. shop in Katy. A little over half of these locations are leased, while the rest are owned by the retailer.
Houston employment growth #4 in U.S.
For the 12-months ending April 2018, Houston rose to fourth place for total jobs gained, just behind Dallas/Fort Worth, New York and Los Angeles. The Bayou City added more than 85,000 new payrolls during that time, at a growth rate of 2.8% annually. This is a far cry from the 0.6% rate a year ago, where less than 17,000 new jobs were added.
First El Rancho supermarket opens its doors
Braving a myriad of grocery competitors, El Rancho is ardently wooing the region’s nearly 2 million Hispanic consumers, which account for 42 percent of the overall Houston metro population and boast a combined spending power of over $54 billion a year. This figure is expected to surpass $80 billion by 2022.