KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Expert Says Phoenix Big Box Retail Not Dying

Despite big name retailers closing hundreds of stores, one local expert said the big box era is not dead – at least not in the Valley. 

When Macy’s, Sears and JC Penney announced store closings earlier this year, metro Phoenix was spared. Todd Folger with CBRE Retail Services said the Valley is a little different. 

“I think that speaks to the health of our market, “he said.

But, we have seen others recently call it quits, like Sports Authority. Folger said Mountainside Fitness is filling some of that local space, among other things.

“We’ve seen some turn into call centers,” he said. “We’ve seen some turn into charter schools. We’ve seen some turn into churches.”   

A May 2017 report by CBRE finds 13 retailers plan to open 1,700 stores this year, many being off-price retailers and discounters. Leading the pack is Dollar General with 1,000 stores, averaging 9,100 square feet each. 

“If you look at their percentage of online sales, TJ Maxx, Ross, Dollar General, those,” Folger said, “Their sales of e-commerce are less than 5 percent of their total sales.” 

According to CBRE, metro Phoenix has more than 4 million square feet of retail space and the vacancy rate, which covers all sizes, is 8.9 percent.  

As a senior field correspondent, Christina Estes focuses on stories that impact our economy, your wallet and public policy.