Exodus of big-box stores leaves gaping holes in Las Vegas retail scene

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( Las Vegas Review Journal ) More big-boxes were empty during the recession than today, real estate pros say, and supersized stores still are getting built. But vacancies persist.

There are 107 empty retail spaces in the valley that are at least 10,000 square feet each, according to brokerage Sage Commercial Advisors. Forty of the vacancies are at least 30,000 square feet.

All told, the typical grocery-anchored shopping center — a staple of American suburbia — that many people grew up with is “in trouble,” said broker Rob Moore of Sun Commercial Real Estate.

Asked if he has any listings with an empty big-box, he said he didn’t, “thank God.”

CLOSE ’EM UP

Las Vegas’ once-battered real estate market and broader economy are on stronger footing amid rising employment and tourism. But closures by national retailers keep coming.

Macy’s said last month that it was closing 68 stores, including one at Boulevard Mall. The next day, Sears Holdings Corp. said it was closing 150 stores, including a Kmart in Henderson. And two weeks after that, the Review-Journal reported that Save-A-Lot would close its four Las Vegas groceries as it exits Nevada and California.

Meanwhile, sporting-goods chain Sports Authority went bankrupt last year, followed by rival Sport Chalet’s parent weeks later. Both had stores in the valley.

Those followed waves of grocery closures here in 2014 and 2015, when Albertsons shuttered some stores, Food 4 Less closed several outlets, Haggen filed for bankruptcy and Fresh & Easy shut down.

READ MORE: Exodus of big-box stores leaves gaping holes in Las Vegas retail scene

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