Who benefits from the demise of department stores?

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Do you know who is in the cat bird seat right now?

Entrepreneurs with retail concepts that require very large spaces and have the ability to drive customers themselves, without need for “walk-in” traffic.

Why?

Well, retailers are generally getting slaughtered right now; who wants to go to the mall when Amazon will deliver whatever you want tomorrow (sometimes, today)? You can see the trend in the slow-motion liquidation of Sears, the closure by Macy’s of hundreds of stores, etc.

As the so-called anchor stores (the big department stores) go away, overall traffic at many malls is declining, which has negative knock-on effects on smaller mall-based retailers.

The result is that shopping malls are emptying out and their owners are desperate for new anchor tenants.

So, if you have a retail concept that requires a lot of space and has the potential to drive traffic to a mall, you’re in position to negotiate VERY cheap leases.

And, because there’s so much space opening up, if you are properly capitalized, you can probably expand very rapidly across the country.

This is far from my area of expertise, but I’d bet we’ll see IPOs of chains like this over the coming years.

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