Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Westfield: retail sales slow; vacancies low

The headline of the story is gloomy: retail sales growth is slowing because of housing and unemployment concerns. But in addition to saying that he thinks things are fundamentally sound here, Peter Lowy's interview goes beyond mere sales numbers in the retail sector. Check out the vacancy rate at Westfield's US properties: 6.5%. The article intimates that this is apparently high compared to the UK or Australia, but that is pretty low, if you ask me. Come to where I live and check out the Simon-owned mall here. I can guarantee the vacancy rate is above 6.5%, and at least one other store is in its death throes according to newspaper ads. (I never go to the mall anymore so I haven't confirmed this.)