Retail finds stride as e-commerce builds momentum

As the retail market climbs its way out of the recession, retailers and property owners are cautiously optimistic as they look for ways to adapt to the rise of e-commerce. According to LANE4 Property Group's latest report, Kansas City experienced conservative growth as well as a few encouraging signs of growth and opportunity.


  • Local ‘mom and pop’ shops are thriving, bolstered by shoppers’ increasing preference toward locally owned stores and restaurants that provide a unique experience many national chains lack.

  • Grocery stores mark another hot spot for the local market. Although grocers are facing increasing competition and opened fewer stores in 2016 than 2015, they’re also making substantial upgrades to their existing stores.

  • The downtown/Midtown/Plaza submarket is booming, with occupancy climbing to 97 percent. But as occupancy climbs, average lease rates are dropping from $15.88 per square foot in 2015 to $14.17 per square foot in 2016. LANE4 believes this is because “less than ideal” locations are finally being leased as the number of available spaces drops considerably.


  • Restaurants are hot, but national quick service restaurants (QSRs) did not see the same generous year-over-year increase achieved in recent years. These QSRs are paying top-of-the-line market rents in order to out-position their competition.

  • Power centers have struggled to increase lease rates, as the market for junior box spaces (15,000 to 40,000 square feet) has seen very little activity compared to past years.

  • E-commerce continues to cause uncertainty, remaining a major variable affecting the future of the retail market. LANE4 says developers and investors should strive to attract ‘internet proof’ businesses like restaurants, salons, fitness, medical, and experience-based retailers in order to provide stable returns in the future.

To read the full report, click here.