Report: Retailers’ expansion plans up 40% over last year

New York City -- Retailer demand for new locations is up across the board, according to ChainLinks Retail Advisors’ just-released "National Retailer and Restaurant Expansion Guide." The report details the current expansion plans for hundreds of the largest U.S. retail and restaurant chains.

“As 2010 came to a close, growth plans were up 30% from the levels we recorded last year,” said ChainLinks’ research director, Garrick Brown. “Following the strong performance during this year’s holiday sales season, many chains further upped their growth plans. Right now, expansion plans are up 40% over last year’s levels.”

Nearly every region in the United States is experiencing an increase, according to Brown, with the strongest surge in growth plans in markets where unemployment is lowest.

“The greater Washington, D.C., area remains highly desirable, as does the greater Eastern Seaboard from Boston to the Carolinas,” he said. “We have also seen a considerable increase in retailer requirements in the Chicago market. Texas remains extremely popular. And though both have elevated unemployment, both Florida and California have also seen a spike in retailer demand in most markets. Regardless, numbers are up across the board whether in the Pacific Northwest or the Gulf Coast states.”

According to the report, some of the most active retailers currently include

  • 7-Eleven is hoping to open as many as 350 stores in the United States and Canada this year.
  •  99 Cents Only is planning on at least 25 new units.
  • Aldi is planning on at least 100 new stores in 2011.
  • Apple will add at least 50 new stores in 2011.
  • AT&T: Expect at least 100 new cellular stores this year.
  • Bottom Dollar Food could add as many as 110 stores in 2011.
  • Burlington Coat Factory is planning on at least 20 new stores.
  • Chico’s could add as many as 40 units in the next 18 months.
  • Citi Trends may open as many as 65 new stores this year.
  • Dollar General plans on 625 new stores in 2011.
  • Dollar Tree will open as many as 275 stores this year.
  • Family Dollar has 300 stores on tap for 2011.
  • Five Below plans on at least 50 new stores this year.

Click here for a complete list of the retail and restaurant chains with the most active expansion plans.

Founded in 1979, ChainLinks is the leading retail real estate advisory services organization in North America serving America's premier retailers, landlords, and investors.