Retail property is under stress, with empty stores, little growth and customers who prefer to shop online. Find out current trends, forecasts, and what is happening in retail leasing and investing.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require a password.

Retail Pr​operty Trends

The Return of Neighborhood Retail and Other Surprising Real Estate Trends (Tech Crunch, Mar. 24, 2021)

Weekly Retail Update: March 22, 2021 (Economists’ Outlook, Mar. 22, 2021)

The Future of Retail Real Estate: What to Expect (Forbes, Mar. 22, 2021)

Report: 10,000 Stores Expected to Close in 2021 (Millionacres, Feb. 17, 2021)

Instant Reaction: Retail Trade Sales March 16, 2021 (Economists’ Outlook, Mar. 16, 2021)

Target Leads ‘Store Within A Store’ Trend as Retailers Show New Love for Old Tactic (Pymnts.com, Mar. 16, 2021)

Creating Models for a More Sustainable Future for Retail (Urban Land, Mar. 3, 2021)

E-Commerce’s Impact on Small Business in the Age of COVID-19 (JDSupra, Feb. 23, 2021)

Robot Store Concepts Proliferate During Pandemic (ZDNet, Feb. 18, 2021)

Current Recession Creates More Challenges for Retail (National Law Review, Feb. 11, 2021)

Where to Run A Store Now (Retail Dive, Feb. 1, 2021)

Leasing Tips & Trends

What Does an In-Store Sale Really Entail in an Omnichannel Retail World? (The Fashion Law, Apr. 2, 2021)

Net Lease: Commercial Real Estate’s Shining Star (Shopping Center Business, Feb. 24, 2021)

Rent Is Cheap, Vacant Space Is Everywhere: Retailers Seize the Moment to Open Stores (CNBC, Mar. 18, 2021)

Net Positive: Reinventing the Modern Lease to Create Capital Advantages (Commercial Observer, Mar. 16, 2021)

From Malls to Madison Avenue: Real Estate is Getting a COVID Makeover (The Fashion Law, Mar. 1, 2021)

As Store Owners Sign More Short-Term Leases, Landlords Are Taking A Risky Bet on The Future of Retail (CNBC, Feb. 26, 2021)

Coronavirus Guidance: Commercial Real Estate (National Association of REALTORS®, Jan. 27, 2021)

Commercial Investment ​Tips & Trends

Malls Tout Proposed Changes to REIT Rules as Good for Retailers (Retail Dive, Apr. 1, 2021)

The Future of Retail Real Estate: What to Expect (Forbes, Mar. 22, 2021)

Retail Sales Shrunk in February: Mall REITs Could Get Battered (Millionacres, Mar. 23, 2021)

Why Most REITs Remain Lean and Liquid: Q&A (Commercial Property Executive, Mar. 12, 2021)

Another Department Store Will File for Bankruptcy: Should Real Estate Investors Worry? (Millionacres, Feb. 23, 2021)

Investors, Real Estate Execs Agree: ‘Medtail’ Investments Will Surge in 2021 (Retail TouchPoints, Feb. 17, 2021)

The Changing Landscape of Commercial Real Estate (The Real Deal, Feb. 9, 2021)

Do Malls Have Any Business Getting into Retail? (Retail Dive, Feb. 2, 2021)

Ecommerce's Spillover Effects on the Local Retail Real Estate Market (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Feb. 1, 2021)

CBRE: Drive-Thrus, Essential Businesses and Grocery Stores the Retail Stars in 2021 (REjournals, Jan. 29, 2021)


Retail Industry Leaders Association—The Retail Industry Leaders Association is the US trade association for leading retailers. We convene decision-makers, advocate for the industry, and promote operational excellence and innovation.

CCIM Institute—A Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) is a recognized expert in the disciplines of commercial and investment real estate.

International Council of Shopping Centers—Global trade association representing the shopping center industry. The groups' membership is over 65,000 in about 80 countries.

IREM—The Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), an affiliate of the National Association of REALTORS®, is an association of property and asset managers who have met the strict criteria in the areas of education, experience, and ethics.

National Grocers Association — For nearly 40 years, the National Grocers Association (NGA) has represented independent supermarket operators in every congressional district across the country, and the wholesalers that service them.

National Retail Federation—The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership compromising all retail formats and channels of distribution.

eBooks &​ Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Big Box Reuse (eBook)

Commercial Real Estate Investment (eBook)

The Complete Guide to Financing Real Estate Developments (Kindle, eBook)

The Dynamics of Property Location (eBook)

Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings are Revolutionizing Retail! (Kindle, eBook)

Real Estate Development and Investment (Kindle, eBook)

Sustainable Property Development (Kindle, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through the NAR Library & Archives. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Member Support at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Retail Development (Urban Land Institute, 2008) HF 5430 Ur1

Green Retail: Selected Readings (Urban Land Institute, 2007) NA 6230 Ur1g

Retail 1-2-3: A Workbook for Local Officials (Metropolitan Planning Council, 2007) HF 5429 El7

The Lease Manual: A Practical Guide to Negotiating Office, Retail, and Industrial Leases (American Bar Association, 2006) KF593.C6 D55

Developing Retail Entertainment Destinations (Urban Land Institute, 2001) NAC 1800 Ur1dr

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