Tourism Spurs New York Retail Growth in 2012


A 2.1 percent increase in tourist visitors to New York City in 2012 generated growth in retail sales and expansion, according to the fourth quarter Manhattan Retail MarketView from CBRE Global Research and Consulting.

“It has been a good year for retail, New York is coming off its best year for tourism, which translates to better retail sales and hotels at higher occupancies,” Andrew Goldberg, executive vice president at CBRE told The Commercial Observer.

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Tourism has driven business to New York’s primary retail corridors, Mr. Goldberg noted. “Retailers are expanding in their current space, growing store counts, doing new flagships and seeing growth,” he said.

broadway Tourism Spurs New York Retail Growth in 2012    Five of the 11 major retail markets in Manhattan experienced slight decreases in average asking rent in the fourth quarter, according the CBRE report.

Major markets during the fourth quarter included Herald Square, Times Square, Fifth Avenue and Soho, Mr. Goldberg added.

Average asking rents in fourth quarter were $2,970 per square foot on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, $2,413 in Times Square and $627 in Soho, the report said. Meanwhile, Upper Madison Avenue’s average asking rent rose 10.6 percent quarter-over-quarter, the largest increase of Manhattan’s major retail corridors.

The report featured the 34th Street Herald Square neighborhood, where many retailers’ highest-grossing locations are based.

“34th street is a primary market in Manhattan, its getting a lot of attention,” Mr. Goldberg said. “There are a lot of big name retailers, there’s some availability, a lot is happening and the neighborhood is on every major retailer’s hit list,” he said.

Overall, 2012 was indicative of New York’s perennial strength, Mr. Goldberg said. “New York has always been strong, we haven’t seen a slow down. It’s different from the rest of the country in a lot of ways, we just haven’t seen a slow down in retail,” he said.