Top markets for retailers revealed

Report also projects store openings for retailers

NEW YORK — A new report released this week unveiled the top go-to markets for retailers that are looking to boost their national presence.

In the ChainLinks/Terranomics' 2011 U.S. national retail report, the healthiest retail market in the nation was Washington, D.C., followed by San Francisco; New York; Boston; San Diego; San Jose/South Bay, Calif.; Baltimore; Philadelphia; Seattle and Pittsburgh.

The report, composed by Garrick Brown — research director for ChainLinks Retail Advisors, a leading retail real estate advisory services organization — said that the Washington, D.C., market topped the list because of the retailer demand for the area. Additionally, Brown noted, shopping center vacancy levels are low, and unemployment rates in the area are lower than any other major market in the country.

The report also highlighted what could be expected from retailers this year, noting that retailer expansion is up 40% than what was tracked in the prior year. Brown said that CVS/pharmacy would be one of the most active retailers this year, with plans to open as many as 275 stores. Although Walgreens is expected to open 200 to 300 stores this year while boosting its fresh food offerings, CVS is said to be following suit by "exploring the concept of beefing up its fresh food offerings."

Other retail chains called out in the report were Dollar General — which reported in its financial earnings Tuesday that it plans to open 625 stores in 2011 (the company opened 600 stores last year) — and Walmart, which could open as many as 400 stores across North America over the next 30 months, Brown said.

Click here to read the full report.

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