Article submitted by Michele Casi, CPM, Associate Broker for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate

Written by Mark Heschmeyer | December 28, 2017

The retail industry is hoping that two months of some of the highest sales in five or six years will carry into 2018 and expunge the bitter aftertaste of record retail bankruptcies and nearly 7,700 store closures in 2017.

Retail employment heading into the Christmas shopping season grew 26%, the highest total since 2012, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.

And MasterCard reported that holiday sales increased 4.9% this year, setting a new record for dollars spent by shoppers, the largest year-over-year increase since 2011.

This was good news for traditional retailers looking to boost profits or get back in the black before the New Year.

Washington, D.C. also provided the industry another shot of optimism. The industry welcomed tax cuts signed into law, saying the measures will dramatically benefit businesses and consumers.

Though it was a winning holiday season for retail overall, the story was different category by category.  

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Michele Casi has been practicing commercial real estate since 1996.  Michele was the owner/ broker of Casi Real Estate LLC for many years and joined Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate in 2017, specializing in the sale and leasing of commercial real estate.  She has an extensive background in management and disposition of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) portfolios for major companies such as Trammell Crow CompanyBrookfield Asset Managementand as an Associate Director for Jones Lang LaSalle.  Michele holds an Associate Broker’s license in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as a Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).