Grocery-anchored retail has typically been seen as recession-resistant. But while shopping centers anchored with a grocery store might have fared relatively well in this past recession, their stability is being threatened by other trends such as the rise of specialty ethnic grocery stores and big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart that also sell groceries. "Wal-Mart is the largest seller of groceries in the U.S. right now," says Jim Sullivan, managing director with research firm Green Street Advisors. REITs that own grocery-anchored retail are performing better than grocery stores, he notes, citing a recent Green Street Advisors study. Also, the lack of new construction should also alleviate pressure on these centers.

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