Miami Retail Reinventing Itself Focuses on Flourishing Market

Cushman & Wakefield announced today that it has released a report, Miami Retail: Reinventing Itself. The report, authored by Vice President of Retail Research for the Americas Garrick Brown in support of the South Florida retail brokerage team of Senior Director Greg Masin, Associate Director Frank Begrowicz and Associate Andrea Vigil, examines Miami’s emergence as retail giant on the international stage.

“No single market in the United States has seen as much growth from the upscale and luxury retail sector over the past year as Miami,” said Brown. “Though tourism and Miami’s longstanding role as a hub of Latin American finance and commerce are factors, demographic shifts are the real drivers.” 

“What’s most interesting and critical to note is that Miami finds itself at the epicenter of the two most important demographic trends impacting retail in United States today: the rising impact of the Millennial shopper and the growing influence and buying power of the Hispanic consumer,“ added Brown. ”Because of these two factors, what happens in Miami is critical for the retail sector to watch because it just may become the model for multicultural high street retail for other major markets in the United States, particularly those with a large Latino demographic.”

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • Miami’s demographics reveal a local population that is young, diverse, highly-educated, affluent and growing.
  • Miami’s growth has been stoked by intense development in the city’s urban core.
  • Miami’s growth has been stoked by intense development in the city’s urban core.
  • Miami’s “shadow market” of international residents, primarily from Latin America, remains one of the primary driving forces behind the region’s strong retail sales growth and sharp uptick in retailer expansion. 
  • Nearly $24 billion was spent by visitors in Miami-Dade County last year. Almost 80 percent of that total was spent by international travelers. Those numbers are expected to grow. 
  • The number of high-income households in Miami has increased dramatically, making it an ideal market for high street retailers.
  • Hispanics, which comprise more than two-thirds of Miami-Dade County’s population, are the fastest growing segment of the American population and have exhibited the highest increase in overall buying power.
  • The Miami-Dade County multifamily market remains healthy with a 97.1 percent occupancy rate and 23,000 new apartments are currently under construction. Rents continue to climb and new residents are pouring into the region. New residents translate to new consumers and a boon for local retailers.
  • Between retail projects already under construction in Miami-Dade County and those slated to begin work shortly, over 1.9 million square feet (MSF) of new retail space is in the pipeline with delivery dates through 2018. More than 50 percent of this space has already been leased.
  • Tight vacancy, aggressive rental rate growth, robust residential development and escalating demand have combined to produce the retail construction boom that is currently underway.
  • In terms of the luxury retail sector, no other major U.S. city has seen as much growth, active requirements or leasing activity over the past year, and this is not likely to change in 2016.
  • Miami now ranks eighth in the nation in terms of retail development. 

“This is an exciting time to be in Miami,” said Masin. “A new generation of consumers, both local and international, is elevating the city’s retail market to new heights.”
“Miami’s retail scene is more vibrant and diverse than ever,” added Masin. “It’s being driven by an incredible demographic profile and rock-solid market fundamentals. It’s like nothing we’ve seen before, and we’re very bullish on the future of retail in Miami.”