I've practically lived in these places during the past 5 years while studying or blogging, in a slightly active suburb of Detroit and Chicago. This past month, when I tried to set up shop in a Borders cafe, it was 100% full every time. So, should "Laptopistan" be considered retail or office real estate. Or do they merge. REIT Agree Realty (ADC) leases some space to Borders. I'm not sure if that's priced in or not. Click the label for recent posts on Borders.
On January 7 I did a post on Howard Davidowitz, retail commercial real estate and XRT option activity. Davidowitz, who's been consulting on retail commercial real estate for 30 years, sees a revolution in the whole retail real estate strategy during the next 5 years. From Bloomberg TV on 12/30/2010 with video below.
"We're only at the beginning of this online sales and that has to lead you to question the whole retail real estate strategy. We've got 21 square feet of selling space for every man, woman and child in this country. We already have double of what we need. With the explosion of online sales, what happens to all these retail malls and tons of shopping centers that are marginal. I think there are huge questions going forward about size of stores, locations of stores, distribution facilities. Huge changes are going to be taking place in the next 5-years as people continue to shop online."