Grocery Wars Push Houston Retail Construction To Be Highest In Nation
Data released by Marcus & Millichap shows Houston is leading the nation in shopping center construction. In its Q2 report, the firm predicted 3.3M SF of retail product will be completed in the Houston area this year, more than any market. With just 4% retail vacancy, the space is in dire need.
Though job growth has been slowing, population growth is still strong. Retailers are playing catch-up with the home construction boom that added rooftops in the suburb and multifamily density near the city's core. (Metrostudy reports Houston is only behind Dallas for the most homebuilding nationally.)
Grocers are advancing on all fronts in their ongoing war against each other. H-E-B has 92 stores in Houston, 10 of which opened in 2015. This year, H-E-B opened a store in League City and is building in Magnolia, Kingwood and Champions Forest. H-E-B is also converting its Bellaire location into a state-of-the-art two-story location, doubling its space.
One of H-E-B's biggest rivals isn't backing down. This month, Kroger announced it would be hiring 14,000 people nationwide as part of its $4B expansion plan. The grocery giant will add eight stores and remodel 14 others across Houston in 2016.
The discount grocer Aldi is also a serious contender. The company is more than two-thirds of the way towards its goal of 30 Houston-area stores.