Will Santa Be Naughty or Nice to Retailers?
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According to Flocke & Avoyer president Steve Avoyer, Santa's got a mixed bag. The shopping center business definitely has gotten better, and there are a lot more retailers that are doing better in 2013 than in 2012, but it's not universal. Apple might be at the top of many landlords' wish lists, he notes, but even it has some stores that perform better than others (although its "bad" stores might be better than most everyone else's good stores). Expansion has slowed for many of the larger retailers, and mom-and-pops still haven't recovered from the recession, but fast-food and value-oriented retailers such as Ross and Marshall's are doing great. Most retailers are looking for steady growth over the next 12 to 24 months. Nobody can really predict how this season will turn out, he says, noting retailers in the past have reported record-breaking final 48 hours, but before that, they thought it would be a grim Christmas. "There's basically a week left, and in those seven days, the world can change."