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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Retailers Buying Land, Refilling Shuttered Stores Due to Lack of Available Spaces, SRS CEO Says

Empty retail storefront

As the retail landscape undergoes significant transformation, major players like Target and Walmart are increasingly opting to purchase land for new developments due to a notable shortage of available retail spaces. This trend, highlighted by Chris Maguire, CEO of SRS Real Estate Partners, during an interview at the recent ICSC industry convention, underscores a strategic shift among retailers to secure prime locations for their big-box stores.

Retailers Shift to Land Acquisition

In a market where retail space is becoming increasingly scarce, leading retailers are taking proactive measures by acquiring land parcels to construct new stores. Maguire pointed out that retailers such as Walmart and Target are spearheading this movement. "You're starting to see some of the bigger boxes, Walmart and Target, that are going out and buying land, and there'll be adjacent retail going next to them," Maguire noted. This approach not only ensures that these retailers secure desirable locations but also opens up new opportunities for adjacent retail developments.

One notable example of this trend is Target's recent purchase of an 8.9-acre parcel at The Village at Myrtle Grove shopping center in Wilmington, North Carolina. This acquisition is part of Target's expansion strategy, marking the development of what will become the retailer's second store in the Wilmington area. The parcel was sold to Target by Big V Property Group, emphasizing the importance of strategic land purchases in prime retail areas.

Repurposing Shuttered Stores

In addition to purchasing land, some retailers are turning to shuttered stores as viable alternatives due to the lack of available spaces. As Maguire explained, retailers are increasingly repurposing locations left vacant by others that have gone dark. This trend is driven by the necessity to find operational spaces in markets where new sites are limited.

For instance, SRS Real Estate Partners is actively marketing several Macy's locations in the Sun Belt, which are being vacated as part of the broader trend of retailers relocating or expanding within the same market. These shuttered stores present valuable opportunities for other retailers to establish a presence in well-known shopping areas without the need to navigate the complexities of new construction.

New Opportunities and Future Trends

The current trend of land acquisition and repurposing shuttered stores points to a broader strategic evolution in the retail sector. As retailers like Walmart and Target lead the charge, the landscape is poised to see an influx of new retail developments and opportunities for adjacent businesses. This proactive approach is likely to reshape the retail environment, creating hubs of activity in newly developed and revitalized spaces.

Maguire's insights also shed light on SRS's efforts to introduce Asian food and beverage establishments to the U.S. market, further diversifying the retail offerings and catering to evolving consumer preferences.

In conclusion, the scarcity of available retail spaces is prompting major retailers to adopt innovative strategies to secure prime locations. Through land acquisition and repurposing existing stores, companies like Target and Walmart are not only ensuring their growth but also paving the way for new retail developments. As this trend continues, the retail landscape is set to become more dynamic and diverse, offering a range of opportunities for businesses and consumers alike.


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