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2017-07-12 — therealdeal.com

Sales at the store fell even as Apple's overall sales in the Americas rose to $32 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from $29.3 billion a year earlier, according to SEC filings. And they tumbled while New York City saw its economy grow and attracted a record number of tourists last year. In other words: the sales numbers are bad news for Manhattan's retailers, and by extension retail landlords.

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In the first quarter, half of Manhattan's 12 most important retail markets had availability rates of 20 percent or more, according to Cushman & Wakefield, signaling that the Manhattan retail real estate market may be facing a downturn after years of frenzied growth. In April, Ralph Lauren abruptly closed its Fifth Avenue flagship store just four years after signing a 16-year, $400 million lease. It sent shock waves throughout the real estate industry.

"I think retail is fucked, plain and simple," developer Billy Macklowe said at a conference in April. Walking down Fifth or Madison Avenues, he said, "just on a visual basis, you will get to a radical vacancy rate the major brokerages aren't putting out there."

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