The quarterly report released by Colliers International West Michigan reflects a strong economy across the retail, industrial and office space sectors. Across these industries, a high demand for space is keeping vacancy low.

As the retail industry continues to shift toward e-commerce, West Michigan is witnessing a number of large retailers filing for bankruptcy and closing their doors.

“In the first quarter of this year, we knew that there were a couple big retailers that were closing their doors,” said Jeff Hainer, senior research analyst for Colliers International West Michigan. “That was time we first heard the term ‘retail apocalypse.’”

West Michigan-based retailers, like MC Sports and Family Christian Stores and “big box” retailers like Kmart and Sears, have shut their doors, but these vacancies quickly are being filled, as several locally owned small businesses move into larger locations. Despite the growth in online retail, brick and mortar remains strong throughout West Michigan.

“Ninety percent of all retail purchases are still made in brick and mortar stores,” Hainer said. “Online is still a fraction of what brick and mortar stores are doing.”

For the full article, visit The Grand Rapids Business Journal's website, or pick up a copy.

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