BY HERB WEITZMAN
In 2003, online sales as a percentage of total retail sales equaled only 1.6 percent. That same year, Dallas-Fort Worth’s retail market showed a vacancy rate of around 11 percent.
The resulting DFW retail occupancy rate of 89 percent was and is considered healthy, particularly for a huge market that, at the time, had more than 147 million square feet of retail inventory. In the 15 years since, online sales have grown to be an estimated 10 percent of total retail sales. During the same decade and a half, DFW’s retail inventory has added more than 50 million square feet and today stands at 200 million.
And our vacancy rate? It’s right at 7.5 percent, for our healthiest retail market in terms of occupancy in three decades! So how is it possible that we are healthier today in a climate where online sales are growing and legacy retailers like Toys “R” Us and Sears are closing stores?