Hope Lingers For Retail, but Retail Real Estate is in for a Long Journey Back to Profitability

With stay-in-place orders keeping customers at home, the retail sector is set to face pressure unlike other asset classes. And as the NOIs at retail properties contract, that financial stress will radiate up the real estate infrastructure, from retailers shuttering their stores, to landlords unable to
collect rents to lenders themselves. How much pain retailers feel is directly tied to how long our pandemic countermeasures are kept in place. As of this writing, for example, Dallas County’s “Safer-at-Home” order is in effect until April 30, which rescinded and earlier extension by the commissioner’s court approving the county’s disaster declaration until May 20. “If we open the doors May 1, I think we will just fine. If we open the doors on June 1, there’s going to be collateral damage,” said Jennifer Pierson, managing partner at Dallas-based STRIVE. “If we go into August, I don’t think the word
‘severe’ would be an understatement.” Before the pandemic, retail was already suffering as e-commerce took its toll and consumers opted to shop from home. The one shining segment of the sector was experiential retail, a tag applied to everything from fitness centers to DIY pottery shops, but which is largely comprised of restaurants and bars. With shelter in place orders now keeping consumers away from these establishments too, many are in dire straits. The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump on March 27, seeks in part to address this issue. Click to read more at www.rednews.com.