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|Holiday sales might be top of the mind for retailers, but retail brokers are already thinking about next year’s deals. Barring any economic shocks—and we realize that’s a fairly tall order—JLL’s retailer brokers are a bit more confident now (like shoppers) that there’s going to be a bit more expansion next year. We caught up with JLL Midwest retail lead Mark Hunter just ahead of this week’s ICSC Chicago Deal Making conference, and sounded him out on video on Chicago’s retail market. He says that recent store openings, especially downtown, are a sign of confidence among retailers, and he predicts holiday sales will be up this year by at least 3% over last.|
|JLL EVP John Bemis was similarly optimistic, noting that the retail mood is upbeat. "We've already met with several retailers that are looking to expand their Chicago retail footprint, including Rue 21, Children's Place, and Ulta, to name just a few,” he tells us. Some retailers are looking to backfill for 2012, but the majority of new deal discussions are focusing on the beginning of 2013.|