New Jersey Downtowns Seeing Resurgence of Retail

Summit Retail
Summit, New Jersey. Photo by Heather Dean Bennington/Jersey Digs.

Towns throughout New Jersey such as Summit (Union County), Ridgewood (Bergen County), and Red Bank (Monmouth County) have been gaining retailers and are poised to continue the trend, according to the brokerage firm RKF’s Glenn Beyer. “Retail is not dead. Retailers know that they need storefronts as well as an online presence.” While some may believe the opposite with consumers gravitating towards online one-stop-shops like Amazon, there are some factors proving otherwise in certain areas.

West Elm Retail 1
West Elm. Photo by Heather Dean Bennington/Jersey Digs.

First, many major brands are keeping their retail stores in prominent locations for brand awareness. Even if consumers are not buying in store, they are prompted to go online and order what they are looking for from that company. Second, as major department stores close (for example the longtime Sears location on Route 22 in Watchung closed within the past year), brands that are carried in these places still want a retail presence and are independently opening retail stores. These retailers are essentially morphing into “showrooms” where products are displayed, yet not in every size or color. Consumers can still understand the look and feel of the product in person, yet have the ability to order exactly what they need online.

Dry Bar Retail 3
Dry Bar. Photo by Heather Dean Bennington/Jersey Digs.

A great example of the resurgence in retail is Summit. Recently, brands such as West Elm, Drybar, and Serena & Lily have made long-term (five or more years) commitments to Summit. Potential tenants see these brands and want to be next to them for foot traffic, spurring more new stores. When asked what specific categories of retail he has seen doing well recently, Beyer told Jersey Digs “quick service food concepts, specialty fitness, and service tenants with spa services (massage, lashes, etc.) are doing well.”

Serena Lily Retail 2
Serena & Lily. Photo by Heather Dean Bennington/Jersey Digs.

Jersey Digs will continue to bring you the latest updates on new retail and restaurant openings!


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