Real estate brokers in New York say they expect store closings in the city to rise this year. But, they say, the market for retail space in Manhattan should still fare better than the national market as a whole, especially compared with the suburban shopping malls.

'The national retail scene is a mess, and it is going to impact us,' said Gene P. Spiegelman, an executive director in Cushman & Wakefield’s retail services group. He predicted that demand for space would soften throughout the city’s many shopping districts this year, and in fact, landlords in some of the trendiest areas have already begun lowering asking rents.

Industry experts say they also expect the pace of store closings to pick up in February and March, after retailers have tallied the cost of exchanging unwanted holiday gifts for cash.

New York Times