A dramatic drop in retail construction over the last decade is helping keep San Antonio’s big shopping centers full, driving companies to expand in existing storefronts and take over empty space left behind by brands such as Sears and Toys R Us. The metro area added about 6.8 million square feet of retail space between 2010 and 2019, down nearly 11 million square feet from the previous ten years, according to an annual report by Weitzman, a Dallas-based commercial real estate firm. The decline helped push the occupancy rate — for 302 shopping centers with at least 25,000 square feet each — up from 89.9 percent in 2009 to 94.5 percent in 2019. “There typically are not a lot of holes,” said Marcus Shaffer, a senior vice president at Weitzman’s local office. When slots do open, multiple retailers usually make offers, he added. On ExpressNews.com: What’s keeping Wonderland alive? Quirky events, businesses, discount stores, and art films The drop in new construction reflects seismic changes in the retail industry. Click to read more at www.expressway.com.