Cushman & Wakefield- Sponsor of the Pulse Blog

Suburban Retail Comeback

May 12, 2023

Fewer commutes to downtown areas each week, and work from home in general may be a boost to the suburban retail real estate sector, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

“A growing number of retailers in city office districts are relocating their businesses to the suburbs, where visits to shopping centers are on the rise as fewer people commute to downtown workplaces. With average office usage rates still only around half of where they stood before the pandemic in many major cities, many bars, restaurants and other retailers that cater to the five-day-a-week office crowd have been reeling.”

Suburban landlords say demand from retailers was strong during the first months of this year, even with high inflation and rising interest rates, the article said. 

The WSJ pointed as an example to to  Dig, a fast-casual eatery founded in New York City in 2011. Until the pandemic, the restaurant largely catered to office lunch crowds in Manhattan, Boston and Philadelphia, said Chief Executive Tracy Kim. 

“The business was hit by the pandemic and shift to remote work, and a few of its locations in New York closed permanently. Now, Dig is opening restaurants primarily in the suburbs and in residential neighborhoods of larger cities, rather than office districts.”

David Harrison