[IMGCAP(1)]With the economy in turmoil and the future uncertain, it’s hardly surprising that many consumers have cut back on their spending, a trend that is, naturally, beginning to have an effect on the state’s retail landscape.

“The market is a bit softer and there are fewer tenants looking for space,” admits Matt Harding, president and COO of Levin Management in North Plainfield. “I would say that the mood is cautious. People are holding back a little bit, waiting to see what the rest of the year will bring.”

According to Harding, retail leasing nationwide has been hit by major companies’ decisions to halt or drastically scale back expansion plans. Ed Walters, founder and partner with the Barnegat-based Walters Group, notes that middle-tier stores are especially feeling the economic pinch and pulling back on expansion plans.

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