New York City retail is booming—and so are retail jobs—as 8,900 workers (not seasonally adjusted) were added to the New York City retail workforce year-over-year through March 2013.
The overall total of 327,200 is the highest number of retail jobs in New York City in the month of March in recorded history. The biggest retail trade gainers over the past year were clothing and accessory stores, with 4,300 jobs added, and food and beverage stores, with 3,800 new jobs. In addition to the strong New York City job market, last week the Commerce Department reported that U.S. retail sales rose in April by 0.1 percent.
As real estate professionals and retailers from all over the world gather at this week’s International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) event in Las Vegas, talk of New York City retail is sure to come up. Manhattan retail has been improving greatly over the past 18 months. Asking rents in prime corridors in Midtown are hitting all-time highs; according to a report released by REBNY, along the Fifth Avenue corridor between 49th and 59th streets, there was an asking rent of $3,500 per square foot.
In addition, there has been an increased demand for retail stores in Midtown South and Downtown due to recent growth in the office sector. Manhattan retail has always benefitted from being a top tourism destination, and with a record-breaking 52 million visitors to New York City in 2012, new retailers continue to pursue opening Manhattan stores.
With tourism expected to increase this year, retail should continue to thrive, and participants in the New York City ICSC event in December will likely be looking back on one of the most successful years in New York City retail.