Retail Reality

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Wallet Workout
As this graph shows, there has been a strong long-term relationship between unemployment and retail vacancies.

And were you to base your Investment decisions on this measure alone, you could be forgiven for assuming there will be a healthy couple of years ahead of the retail sector as a whole.

Retail constraintsIf only it were that simple!

As you’re probably aware, retailers have already been bearing the brunt of consumers preferring to save (or pay down their mortgages) … rather than go out and spend.

On top of that, you had unseasonably cool weather during last Spring. And there is also the spectre of interest rate rises, to counter the expected surge in inflation during mid-to-late this year.

As such, fashion-related retailers have really been the ones to suffer; and this is likely to continue, at least throughout 2011.

Bottom line: While vacancy rates may be falling overall, it is mainly the prime shopping locations that will benefit. Anything a little “off centre” will continue to be a doubtful proposition, for you as an investor.

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