The World's Largest Resource for the Cart, Kiosk, and Temporary Retail Industry
by Natalie Zmuda

New York — Even in recession, there’s an upside opportunity. And there might be billions of retail dollars up for grabs for smart marketers able to expand their footprint by taking advantage of cheaper leases.

The downturn that began in December 2007 has been disastrous for companies including Circuit City, Steve & Barry’s, Linens ‘N Things and S&A Restaurant Corp. (which owned Bennigan’s, Steak & Ale and Tavern restaurants), which have all filed for bankruptcy. Others, such as Sears Holdings, Foot Locker, Quizno’s and Ruby Tuesday, have shuttered locations. In total, retail sales declined 6% in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

But in the coming year, economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect Americans will open their wallets once again and increase spending by 2%, the first gain since 2007. While not a stellar prediction, it’s a start. And even though more retailers and restaurants will certainly close in the coming year, one retailer’s misfortune could be the fortune of another able to snap up prime locations.

“There’s going to be a lot of opportunity out there,” said Charles Wetzel, president-chief operating officer of Buxton, a market-planning firm. “[Companies] are not as aggressive as they might have been in years prior, but, having said that, they’re not being conservative either.”

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