Stores Optimistic on Retail Growth

LAS VEGAS -- Stores across the Las Vegas valley are getting ready for the holiday rush and for many shop owners this holiday season will be their first.

Store owners said they are growing more confident as the latest retail statistics show an upward trend.

According to research firm Colliers International, the Las Vegas retail market vacancy rate has decreased to 10.3 percent in the third quarter of 2012, down from its peak of 11.9 percent in the second and third quarters of 2011.

However, in the valley's retail submarkets, Henderson's vacancy rate is 0.2 percent higher for the year than the rest of the valley.

The northwest valley was the only submarket to have an increase in asking rents. Rents in the southwest remained stable, and rents in North Las Vegas and near the University of Nevada, Las Vegas decreased.

Village Square on Sahara Avenue and Fort Apache Road is bustling with construction activity, as more than a dozen new stores have opened there since the beginning of the year.

Francisca Zaratiegui just opened Paca, an in-house design shop and boutique at Village Square.

"I order the fabrics or buy the fabrics in Europe or Los Angeles or New York," she said. "(I) make my own patterns, cut them, sew them and steam them and put them on the floor."

After 44 years in Las Vegas, Zaratiegui is optimistic her label and shop, carrying her nickname, will succeed.

"I think if you cater to your customers, and give them what they need, and you do good customer service, you get there," she said.

At the Second Sparkle by Patty's Closet, owner Patty Barba said the shop opened just in time for the holidays.

"It's definitely changed," Barba said of the retail market. "It's improving."

Taxable sales have also increased, averaging $2.6 million per month this year, an increase of $200,000 per month over last year. According to Colliers' third quarter report, although there is improvement in taxable sales, it still has not recovered to its prerecession levels.


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