Article prefaced and curated by Matthew Shirley, CCIM, Sales and Leasing Agent for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, LLC

As I read the Forever 21 bankruptcy news, I decided to look at the narrative of a declining physical retail environment on a macroeconomic level.  The year 2019 has seen over 7,000 retail stores shutter YTD, compared to 2018’s total retail closures of 5,800.  With the rise of online retail juggernauts, competition on physical store locations is fierce.  Closures of Payless Shoes, Fred’s, GNC, and Kmart, may seem natural, even deserving in some circles.  But, the concern increases when the list of store closures includes the likes of CVS, Office Depot, and Pier 1 Imports.  No city is immune to these macroeconomic shifts, but Baton Rouge Metro continues to be well-positioned, with strong Industrial, medical, governmental, and educational sectors.  As the retail marketplace continues to evolve, I find it imperative to incentivize and remain competitive in these job creating sectors of our local economy. 

Written by Kate Gibson for CBS News Money Watch | July 16, 2019

If the carnage in the retail industry seemed bad last year, it pales in comparison to the damage the sector is suffering in 2019. Already above the pace 2018 set, U.S. store closing could exceed 12,000 this year.

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Matthew Shirley joined Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, LLC in January 2011. Matthew is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in International Trade and Finance. While at LSU, Matthew was a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon – The International Honor Society for Economics. Matthew’s professional memberships include the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division and the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB).

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate, LLC 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).