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U.S. Retail Vacancy Rate Jumps on Toys ‘R’ Us Store Closings

A Toys R Us Inc. retail store on April 16.

A Toys R Us Inc. retail store on April 16.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Updated on

Kids across the country are feeling the absence of Toys “R” Us. Retail landlords, too.

The amount of occupied retail real estate in 77 major U.S. metropolitan areas dropped by 3.8 million square feet (350,000 square meters) in the second quarter, the largest decline since 2009, according to a report by researcher Reis Inc. released Monday. Shuttered stores once occupied by the company, now in bankruptcy proceedings, helped drive the national retail vacancy rate to 10.2 percent, up two-tenths of a percent from the first quarter and the highest level since 2014.