During the 1990s and into the early 2000s retail store expansion across the United States was very aggressive.  From Power Centers to Lifestyle Centers, there were sites for everyone.  By 2003-2004, many of the larger, more established retailers realized the U.S. marketplace was becoming saturated for new store growth.

While consumer confidence and spending came to a crashing halt in 2007, so too did the rate of retail store expansion in the U.S. Middle Market America retreated from the retail marketplace, spending far few dollars. With the market slow to rebound, retailers that were once reluctant to expand outside of the U.S. are now exploring uncharted markets in search of revenue generating channels to bolster a stagnant/declining U.S. network of stores and customers.

Many retailers chose the natural expansion route south into Mexico, a lucrative market void of an established retail base, or into Canada, a mature much smaller market than Mexico but a market with a significantly higher share of wallet.

International retail expansion is here to stay.  Retailers who dipped their toes into the Mexico/Canada markets are now aggressively jumping with both feet into Asia to tap into the rapidly growing markets of China and India, while others are taking the Middle East route (Dubai) as a stepping stone of expansion into Asia.