5 Ways Retail Owners are Planning for a New Normal

Shopping Center Owners Re Design Properties

When the business is high, it’s all retailers and owners can do just to keep up with the everyday demands. However, the COVID19 crisis brought commerce to a crawl, caused restaurants and retail brands to pivot overnight, and shopping centers to downsize collectively. For some retail operators, this will be temporary, and soon they will be back to work. For others, the closure and/or more limited in-store presence will be permanent, leaving shopping centers with mass vacancies.

Shopping center owners are watching emergent trends as retailers begin the process of re-opening their doors. They are planning for a new normal in tenant spaces in some intriguing ways.

1: Re-designing the spaces.

Before the pandemic, a big focus was on creating experiential environments. The mall of the future will be a different kind of gathering place. There is a reformulation of the size of tenants and a new look to stores. Landlords and tenants will need to collaborate.

2: Providing new access methods for consumers.

Digitally augmented techniques for contactless product exploration and purchase has been key to keeping many retailers alive. Once the purchase is complete, providing queuing isles, dedicated parking spots, and curbside pick-up are among the top trends as re-entry begins.

3: Meeting last-mile fulfillment needs for tenants.

Already a hot topic because of the relationship between physical and online stores, owners are looking to meet tenant logistics needs. Conceptually, it’s a win-win offer; retailers are already paying for last-mile “warehouse” space, and owners have “structurally vacant” space available. In recent days, Washington Prime announced they are offering fulfillment space to retailers at lower rates than their main stores.

4: Laying the groundwork for re-development.

From stores that offer consumers provisions and supplies to businesses that support the supply chain and logistics, attracting “essentials” businesses will be a primary focus in malls and shopping centers. Owners are taking more moderate and deliberate steps to ensure the success of these prospective new tenants; it’s a slow, calculated approach to meet the novel needs of a contemporary tenant.

5: Ramping up leasing capabilities.

Lease administration has slipped considerably over the past decade due to a continual churn of property ownership across retail real estate. Now, many are getting their documentation in shape, not only to improve their negotiation position, but also to understand how capacity can be reduced, relocated, or repurposed.

Documentation speeds the process. Recreating current architectural conditions in a format that assists in envisioning the future is a key focus for Coast 2 Coast. Owners and retailers alike rely on our team of experienced surveyors and draftsmen, BOMA specialists, and skilled 3D modelers to help them understand the existing conditions of their spaces.

Owners have updated surveys and mechanical records that facilitate negotiations with prospective tenants. For retailers, the as-builts help with planning remodels with their landlords.

From a redesign and reconfiguration point of view, there are fundamental changes in the way projects are moving forward. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation from region to region or from store to store. Long term record-keeping, lease research, and future planning are more of a priority. Now is the time to update construction documents, verify tenant square footage, and update records for physical assets like air handlers.

Planning your new normal?  How we can help?

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.