Landlords, retailers in US play hardball as mall rent collections plunge, Real Estate News, ET RealEstate


Landlords, retailers in US play hardball as mall rent collections plungeBENGALURU: Tapestry Inc Chief Government Officer Jide Zeitlin has been negotiating decrease rents for the corporate’s Coach and Kate Spade shops for greater than a month, utilizing the manufacturers’ energy to attract in U.S. mall site visitors as leverage in robust talks with landlords.

The corporate, whose purses have received it a spot among the many large names of the style world, is only one of a raft of main U.S. retailers in search of to decrease hire payments to ensure they’ve sufficient money to climate the COVID-19 pandemic.

However with 1000’s of shops closed underneath strict lockdown measures and a number of nationwide retail chains crumbling, mall operators’ hire collections have collapsed, elevating doubts about their future. Mall operators collected solely 15% of April hire and developments are trying worse for Could, in accordance with CenterSquare Funding Administration, which focuses on actual property.

After a decade of change that has shaken up the U.S. retail panorama and pushed some out of enterprise, Zeitlin says mall rents must fall anyway for retailers’ brick-and-mortar methods to make sense.

However the talks are nonetheless “difficult and tough” and he has a warning for his landlords: “What they should do is be actually considerate about not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs,” he advised Reuters final week.

Retail rents in the USA have elevated by 2.6% a yr over the previous three years, and presently common $21.80 per sq. foot, in accordance with actual property analytics firm CoStar Group. Nevertheless, the coronavirus disaster has lead the agency to estimate retail rents falling anyplace from 8% to 13% in 2020.

One among Coach’s landlords is the USA’ greatest mall operator- Simon Property Group, which reviews first quarter outcomes in a while Monday.

The corporate’s outlook on the following few months will likely be extra intently watched than ever earlier than, because it begins to slowly reopen malls, whereas coping with tenants which have both gone out of enterprise or are nearing the sting.

Simon and rival Macerich Co, which additionally reviews this week, each personal malls that rely J.C. Penney & Co as a tenant. Reuters reported on Friday the division retailer operator is making ready to file for chapter safety with plans to completely shut a few quarter of its roughly 850 shops.

“This is the problem- quite a lot of the opposite smaller retailers can void their leases and have recourse to cease paying hire if these large anchor shops aren’t there any extra.” mentioned Scott Crowe, chief funding strategist at CenterSquare.

“90% of the department stores on this nation will not be right here in yr,” Crowe mentioned.

Hole Inc, one among Simon’s greatest tenants, mentioned in April it could save about $115 million per thirty days by ceasing paying hire for its shops in North America, a lot of which can not reopen even after the economic system comes totally again on line.


Whereas many are genuinely simply looking for a method by means of the monetary mess left by the shutdowns, landlords and sector analysts say some retail names with important monetary backing are merely in search of to make use of the disaster to power their pursuits. CenterSquare’s Crowe, who abroad some the of the agency’s $200 million value of U.S. actual property, mentioned a few of these large chains are utilizing that leverage to play hardball in hire negotiations and warned of repercussions.

Large nationwide chains signal long-term leases and drive foot site visitors to surrounding shops, giving them extra leverage – and higher offers – with landlords who’re susceptible to defaulting on their very own money owed. Jackson Hsieh of retail property group Spirit Realty says he has obtained deferral requests for nearly half of April’s rents. Spirit owns just below 1,800 properties in 48 states. Its greatest tenants embody Residence Depot, Walgreens and Church’s Rooster.

“We began to get requests from individuals who actually did not deserve a deferral,” he says. “Three funding grade firms requested for a deferral. I mentioned in the event you do not pay, we’ll default you they usually paid.”

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