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

Philly Landlords Face Slim Returns from Retail Tenants as First Rents of Coronavirus Pandemic are Due to Come (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Apr. 2, 2020)

Dying Malls Seek Second Life as Entertainment Destinations (Curbed, Feb. 18, 2020)

Never Mind the Internet. Here’s What’s Killing Malls (The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2020)

Simon’s $3.6B Taubman Buy a Positive Sign for Class A Malls (Commercial Property Executive, Feb. 11, 2020)

Malls Keep Plummeting in Value as Every Other Sector of CRE is Stable (Bisnow, Feb. 9, 2020)

Brick and Mortar Is Not Dead: Retail Real Estate Persists (Forbes, Jan. 21, 2020)

Mall Vacancy Rate Reaches 20-Year High (PYMNTS, Jan. 7, 2020)

Three Trends Shaping Retail’s Great Transformation (Urban Land, Sep. 3, 2019)

Leasing Tips & Trends

50 Penn Place Embraces Different Approach to Leasing (The Journal Record, Jan. 10, 2020) E

Sale-Leaseback Deals Continue to Be Popular With Retailers (Commercial Property Executive, Jan. 8, 2020)

Adam Ifshin on Leasing Trends (Chain Store Age, Dec. 18, 2019)

What Does Triple Net (NNN) Mean? (Stirling Properties, Nov. 12, 2019)

Trends in Leasing Arrangements (Chain Store Age, May 22, 2019)

Big Boxes Becoming a Big Headache for Shopping Center Landlords (Crain’s Chicago Business, Apr. 30, 2019)

Commercial Investment ​Tips & Trends

Is Forever 21 a Wise Investment for its New Mall Landlord Owners? (RetailWire, Feb. 4, 2020)

The Safest Bet in Retail: Grocery-Anchored Shopping Centers Remain Investor Darlings (National Real Estate Investor, Jan./Feb. 2020) E

Eight of the Top U.S. Markets for Retail Real Estate Investment (National Real Estate Investor, Jan. 22, 2020)

Yes, the U.S. Has Too Many Malls: Busting 3 Big Myths (Seeking Alpha, Jan. 22, 2020)

Why Your 2020 Resolution Should be to Buy More Retail Stocks (The Motley Fool, Jan. 7, 2020)

International Investors Take a Small Step Back from US Commercial Real Estate, as Yield is Less Attractive (CNBC, Aug. 30, 2019)

Real Estate Investors Shouldn't Give Up On Retail (U.S. News & World Report, Mar. 15, 2019)

Investor Sentiments and Trends in Retail Real Estate (JLL, Feb. 11, 2019)

CRE Investors Can Still Profit from Retail Real Estate—If They Stick with Service-Oriented Tenants (National Real Estate Investor, Jan. 23, 2019)


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 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 (Kindle, 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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2020 Census

The decennial census is important for all REALTORS® because completing the 2020 census means more resources for businesses and communities.


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