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chi-Toys R' Us The closures of Toys R’ Us outlets are just the most well-known of the many occurring in today’s tough environment.

CHICAGO—Certain portions of the retail sector are doing well in today’s very challenging environment, but the overall picture remains somewhat grim, especially in Chicago and other Midwest metro areas. Officials from Ten-X Commercial, an online and only end-to-end transaction platform for commercial real estate, say retail’s slow recovery, which already lags behind other sectors, has slowed or even come to a halt. Overall investment in retail properties fell to $15.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2017, a 19% drop from a year earlier, according to the firm’s latest US retail market outlook.

Ten-X also picked the top five “buy markets,” or those that can withstand the onslaught of e-commerce due to with expanding populations, job and wage growth, and increasing shopper counts, and the top five “sell markets” where retailers must confront poor local economic indicators. The former includes Austin, Denver, Dallas, Houston and Salt Lake City, while Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City, Northern New Jersey and Memphis land in the sell category.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.

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