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Expand chart
Adapted from CBRE; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. store closures are on pace for a record level in 2019 with more than 7,400 already announced this year, and household names like Sears and Victoria’s Secret shutting their doors at malls across the country.

Yes, but: Property broker CBRE says the fire-and-brimstone, death-of-the-mall narratives are exaggerating what's actually happening in the retail and real estate spaces. Certainly, the mall sector is having some problems, but the full picture also includes an overall Q2 gain in demand across all retail formats, and a gradual repositioning of malls as mixed-use projects.

The big picture: CBRE's latest data shows net absorption — a measure of the amount of new space leased to retailers in a quarter versus what was vacated — has been on a clear downturn over the past few years.

  • While net absorption has been falling, the price of rent has been rising. Overall net asking rent increased by 5% year-over-year to $18.01 per square foot, the highest level since Q1 2005 when CBRE began tracking this metric.

What they're saying: "U.S. retail real estate as a whole is healthy, especially grocery anchored centers," CBRE Global President of Retail Anthony Buono tells Axios in an email.

  • "Many established retailers are effectively harnessing online sales to combine with their in-store sales, and many online-only brands now are opening physical stores. Average rent across the whole of U.S. retail real estate has risen for 22 consecutive quarters."

Go deeper: Read Axios' Deep Dive on the future of retail

Go deeper

By the numbers: Census to show first decline of white population

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Census Bureau via Brookings Institute; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The latest census is expected to show the first decline in history for the nation's non-Hispanic white population, according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Brookings Institution's William Frey.

Why it matters: The U.S. is rapidly moving toward a majority-minority population — with the racial and ethnic diversity most apparent in younger cohorts. "This really is moving in a direction that’s going to favor the issues and the political agendas of these younger people," Frey told Axios.

25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats plot filibuster workarounds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Several Democratic lawmakers are moving away from calls to eliminate the filibuster while privately discussing alternatives to bypass it, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: These talks have ramped up in earnest following the Republicans’ move Tuesday to block a measure to protect and expand voting rights.

25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Infrastructure's remaining potholes

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

President Biden declared victory in announcing the bipartisan infrastructure package. Now comes the hard part: negotiating with his own party on the separate reconciliation bill.

Why it matters: By trying to simultaneously pass two massive spending bills, Biden and congressional leaders are attempting a legislative feat that will likely require Congress to work through its August recess — and potentially well into the fall, according to lawmakers and senior staffers.