A survey of 275 retail tenants done by a North Jersey store real estate management firm finds very positive 2018 sales results.

CEO Matthew Harding of Levin Management Corporation based in North Plainfield says many of the 105 respondents in their portfolio reported record sales in 2018.

"It was the best in years for them," he said.

Harding said there was one particular big driver for the year and the holiday season.

"I think the underlying factor is the economy and employment and generally good confidence levels with the consume," he said.

"I think with the exception of the little bit of turmoil at the end of the year, ... the stock market has generally performed well. So the stars have kind of aligned for strong consumer confidence that has turned into strong results in the stores."

Half the businesses in the survey said they were utilizing more in-store tech-centered tools to assist customers and enhance their buying experience.

"We saw retailers, restaurants investing in digital means to reach their customers and build their businesses and now, two to three years into that, we see them reporting good results from that and really seeing results in their stores."

EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article should have said that the survey included 275 participants.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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