Retail

Related’s CEO Predicts People Will Go Back To Offices Before Malls

In a world after the coronavirus, consumers will have return to work before they go back to the mall per the owner of New York City’s Hudson Yards.

“My guess is we go back to offices first,” Related Companies CEO Jeff Blau recently told CNBC. “I think retail is going to be a second step. I think retail is going to be much slower to come back. Just because people go to their offices, I don’t think they are going to rush out to congregate in restaurants.”

Blau noted that retail centers would reopen following COVID-19 pandemic subsidies “weeks past” the reopening of commercial offices. At that time, the properties will reportedly undergo some changes. Related, for its part, is piloting some temperature-scanning machines that could be launched in shopping centers and office buildings.

Some of the retail properties of Related Companies include hard-hit New York City's The Shops at Columbus Circle and Hudson Yards. Its holdings of U.S. real estate also encompass apartment and office buildings. The company, like other landlords, has experienced a decline in the quantity of rent checks arriving.

Related Companies has only taken in approximately 35 percent of April rents for retail occupants as a whole. And just 20 percent of rent checks have arrived in its enclosed shopping centers. By contrast, the landlord has received over 90 percent of its April rents for its residential occupants.

A new PYMNTS survey of more than 700 small- and medium-sized businesses found that 33.1 percent of them are cutting back on paying bills to survive. But even with such steps, retail SMBs estimated that they can only survive 48 days on average without government aid or 108 days with it. Click here to check out more of our survey results.

In March, news surfaced that U.S. mall owner Taubman was informing tenants that their rent has to be paid. The real estate investment trust had noted it still has to meet obligations like paying for utilities and paying lenders on mortgages per a memo dated March 25 that a news outlet obtained.

Taubman said per a report: “The rental income that we receive from tenants is essential in order to meet these obligations.” It continued, “All tenants will be expected to meet their lease obligations.”

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NEW PYMNTS STUDY: LEVERAGING THE DIGITAL BANKING SHIFT – SEPTEMBER 2020  

The September 2020 Leveraging The Digital Banking Shift Study, PYMNTS examines consumers’ growing use of online and mobile tools to open and manage accounts as well as the factors that are paramount in building and maintaining trust in the current economic environment. The report is based on a survey of nearly 2,200 account-holding U.S. consumers.

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