If it weren't for the current economic uncertainty, we could say that it has never been a better time to be in retail real estate. Fundamentals are sound with vacancy rates at historic lows and for the first quarter of 2023, retail sales performed relatively well "showing the shallowest decline in deal volume across the major property types," according to a report by MSCI.

It is easy to perform in this environment but the true test will come if the U.S. economy worsens and consumers pull back on spending, which many economists forecast will happen in the coming months. We believe that the men, women, teams and companies we have selected as our retail influencers for this year will be able to pass that test. After all, the sector has seen difficult times in the recent past and went on to not only survive but thrive. Watch it happen again and read the next several pages if you want to see who we bet will be leading the vanguard.

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Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy has been writing about commercial real estate at GlobeSt.com for more than ten years, covering the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics. She's a nerd so favorite examples of the former include accounting standards, Basel III and what Congress is brewing.