From Office Depot, to Target, to Nordstrom to Costco, so many stores have mentioned the sales weakness that they’re suffering in these formerly booming areas.
Two weeks ago, I decided to travel there and see the reality of what so many retail analysts have said. What I found are the dirty little secrets of retail: the empty Mom and Pop stores in strip malls.
Driving around Southern California’s Ventura and Los Angeles counties, we saw many of those boarded up stores or “for lease” signs in small businesses. In Oxnard, California the local retail organization told me that these areas are getting “redeveloped” but store owners were much less optimistic.
Tracking firms like Costar and Reis report that formerly hot real estate markets in Southern California (also Arizona and South Florida) have seen a lot of new store additions over the past 5 years and are now showing rising vacancies.