2017-07-12 —

Sales at the store fell even as Apple's overall sales in the Americas rose to $32 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from $29.3 billion a year earlier, according to SEC filings. And they tumbled while New York City saw its economy grow and attracted a record number of tourists last year. In other words: the sales numbers are bad news for Manhattan's retailers, and by extension retail landlords.


In the first quarter, half of Manhattan's 12 most important retail markets had availability rates of 20 percent or more, according to Cushman & Wakefield, signaling that the Manhattan retail real estate market may be facing a downturn after years of frenzied growth. In April, Ralph Lauren abruptly closed its Fifth Avenue flagship store just four years after signing a 16-year, $400 million lease. It sent shock waves throughout the real estate industry.

"I think retail is fucked, plain and simple," developer Billy Macklowe said at a conference in April. Walking down Fifth or Madison Avenues, he said, "just on a visual basis, you will get to a radical vacancy rate the major brokerages aren't putting out there."

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