legitimacy in the eyes of lenders.
“Lenders now acknowledge that
specialty retailers retain consistent
revenue results—and, in some cases, they’ll give you credit for them,”
he said. “Twenty years ago, lenders
would not consider specialty retailers fixed income.”
While specialty retailers have cer-
tainly grown since their incep-
tion, the Great Recession markedly
slowed their growth. Specialty retail
entrepreneurs would often lease
multiple spaces—sometimes within
one center—and they would take
risks with trendy products that were not proven to be popular yet.
“When the economy crashed, it made a big impact on these entrepreneurs,” said Woods. “We’re seeing more conservative entrepreneurs now.
They often focus on just one primary location, and they are taking fewer
The key to success in today’s more conservative market is finding a product and owner/operator who will make an impact. In this case, unique is
“The best thing you can do is have a unique selection,” said Breidenbach.
“Smart specialty leasing people go to places that you wouldn’t normally can-
vas, like state and county fairs, art shows, fashion shows and craft shows.
The uniqueness of your program is what will sell it.”
However, it is still important to be selective. Paying close attention to
product duplication will help you avoid oversaturating your center and cre-
ating too much competition among your tenants.
“When a leasing representative puts a deal down, I ask myself two questions: Do we already have this type of retail in the center? How many other
stores are selling it?” said Mancuso. “If we already have five jewelry stores—
“[CARTS AND KIOSKS] LET RETAILERS TEST OUT SALES
AND PRODUCTS; LIKEWISE, THEY LET MALL OWNERS
AND DEVELOPERS DETERMINE IF THESE RETAILERS ARE
GOOD TENANTS AND GOOD FITS FOR THEIR CENTERS.”