Monday, January 24, 2011

Together, let's plan for 2011

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been thinking very positively about 2011. Sure, the economy hasn’t recovered yet and retail is still sluggish, but 2010 was better than 2009, and holiday sales were pretty good. Almost all indicators point to continued improvement as this year progresses.

Looking back, the last couple years were critical for many grocery-anchored shopping center owners. Anchors that were once the cream of the crop became cause for much concern among landlords. Not long ago, having Acme, Super Fresh, Genuardi’s or Pathmark meant you had an anchor drawing loyal customers to your center. National and local tenants alike were thrilled to reap the benefits that came along with a powerful supermarket.

In the last year, many of these stores have gone dark, and in some cases, have blocked other supermarkets from subleasing the space. In some cases, the anchor shutting its doors caused a ripple effect throughout the center that resulted in smaller co-tenants leaving as well. Empty inline stores, dark junior boxes and vacant parking lots are major headaches to an owner, not to mention a big financial problem.

But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Does one of your assets have an underperforming supermarket, or one whose parent company is experiencing financial problems? Is there a chance your grocery anchor will go dark in the next few years? If so, it’s time to make a plan.

Has your leasing agent discussed the whole center – in its present state and what it will look like five years from now – with you? Or does he/she simply attempt to fill the space as it becomes vacant.

The Pitch

Forgive me, but after 80+ blog entries, it’s time for a pitch. My colleagues and I at Equity Retail Brokers are planners. Although we’re very capable of leasing vacant space, we’re more excited to do it in the context of an entire shopping center plan; one that takes into account the rest of the center – vacant or not – and ensures the long-term success of the asset.

We truly work in the best interest of our landlords. Securing the right tenant is paramount, even if it means turning down a bigger commission, or one that isn’t shared. Educating an inexperienced tenant is standard operating procedure, not only because it means doing the right thing, but also because it could save the landlord headaches down the road. And drawing on the experience of our team of agents is our way. Internal competition can be healthy, but openness serves our clients better.

In other words, hire me and you get the Equity Retail Brokers team.

We closely follow the entire retail industry and have specialists in supermarkets and banks, among others. We represent local and national landlords and tenants, including grocery-anchored centers in 10 counties. Most importantly, we love what we do. Call me, and let’s make a plan together.

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