12 Oct Repurposing the closed retail store or mall
The pace of closures for brick-and-mortar retail stores has been almost breathtaking this year. An analysis by Fung Global Retail & Technology, a firm specializing in the retail industry, found 3,296 store closings announced just in the first few months of 2017—up 97 percent from the prior year.
What is the problem? In part, it’s because of over building that occurred in the last decade in the retail industry, and in part it’s because retailers are filing for bankruptcy. Of course, the root cause is that millions of U.S. shoppers are flocking to online shopping because of convenience and selection.
Yet commercial investors should try to keep the decline of retail locations in perspective — in other words, make lemonade from the lemons. Many times, vacant retail store space, including strip malls, can be overhauled into something new for savvy investors with an eye for opportunity. For instance, these spaces often make great office space, with higher rents. Or perhaps when the stores clear out, the building becomes a satellite campus for the local university.
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