-Due to the high volume of store closures in Q2, Houston saw negative net absorption for the first time in over two years, as well as occupancy drop 40 basis points from Q1.

-With many retailers falling to victim to COVID-19, several national chains across the country have made the tough decision to file for Chapter 11 and permanently close stores. Among these is Houston-based retailer Stage Stores who operates several brands, including Palais Royal, Bealls, and Goody’s. The company has already begun liquidation sales at over 500 of its 738 stores and is looking for bids to sell its business or any of its assets.

-With more stores announcing planned closures in the second half of the year, it’s likely that we will continue to see a drop in occupancy and an increased pattern of negative absorption.

-COVID-19 is ramping-up in states that were quick to reopen. Although a significant uptick in cases that pummels consumer confidence is a risk, it is quite plausible that a mild escalation of COVID-19 can coincide with pent-up consumer demand that restrains economic losses this year to a fall in GDP of just over 6%.