Colliers Report: Preference for brick-and-mortar shopping heightens retail activity

February 28, 2022

Commercial Real Estate Research & Forecast Report
Q4 2021 South Carolina Retail

Market Highlights

Brick-and-mortar shops are gaining momentum due to a preference to test or try-on items in a physical shop prior to purchasing, an easier in-person return process, and the potential of delayed shipping along with privacy concerns with e-commerce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, year-over-year national retail sales increased 33% compared to 2020, and since March of 2021 there have been ten consecutive months of double-digit growth.

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Key Takeaways

  • Increasing retail sales and traffic into South Carolina brick-and-mortar shops bodes well for ongoing shop success
  • South Carolina retail vacancy rates have steadily decreased over the past year to 4.33%


A return to physical shops contributed to the uptick of success within South Carolina brick-and-mortar retail stores, evidenced by 192,006 square feet of positive annual retail absorption. The vacancy rate dropped from 6% during the fourth quarter of 2020 to 4.8% during the fourth quarter of 2021. South Carolina’s positive retail environment will continue to boost retail activity throughout 2022.


About Colliers

Colliers | South Carolina has over 140 staff members, including 62 licensed real estate professionals, covering the entire state with locations in Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Spartanburg. Total 2021 brokerage volume exceeded $1 billion, which included over 590 sales and leasing transactions. In addition to traditional commercial real estate representation services for our clients, the company is actively engaged in Corporate Solutions and Healthcare Services. Colliers is an Accredited Management Organization (AMO) through the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and is the largest manager of commercial real estate properties in South Carolina, with a portfolio of over 17 million square feet of office, industrial, retail and healthcare properties. Colliers’ staff hold 54 professional designations, the most of any firm in South Carolina. Colliers | South Carolina’s partner, LCK, provides project management services for new facilities and renovations across South Carolina and set a new record by managing a portfolio of projects approaching $1 billion in volume during 2021.

Colliers (NASDAQ, TSX: CIGI) is a leading diversified professional services and investment management company. With operations in 67 countries, our more than 15,000 enterprising professionals work collaboratively to provide expert advice to real estate occupiers, owners and investors. With annualized revenues of $3.0 billion ($3.3 billion including affiliates) and $40 billion of assets under management, we maximize the potential of property and accelerate the success of our clients and our people. Learn more at, Twitter @Colliers or LinkedIn.