Commercial Real Estate | News and Up Dates
Every week, our industry sees changes that affect; Tenants, Brokers, Investors, Property Owners, and Individuals interested in the future of the commercial real estate market. JMS updates this page with the hope of finding information that may be of interest to all of our Clients. We hope you will use us as a source to keep yourself informed.
Adidas Has Strategic New-Store Growth in North America on Agenda for 2021
Athletic Shoe, Apparel and Goods Maker Sees E-Commerce Sales Explode in High Double Digits, but Says Brick-and-Mortar Stores Are Here to Stay
By Jennifer Waters
Add Adidas to the list of retailers expanding their property as they rely on brick-and-mortar stores for growth even as e-commerce sales bounce.
Noting that “people are really bored of sitting at home,” CEO Kasper Rorsted said the Germany-based sportswear giant will ramp up its in-store experience as it expands in the United States.
That comes even in light of supersized growth in its e-commerce sales. Retailers across the country have seen an explosion of online shopping during the restrictions and overall fear of being in large public places during the COVID-19 pandemic that has considerably slowed foot traffic at shopping centers and malls.
Adidas, for example, logged a 51% jump in online sales in the third quarter, which was on top of the second quarter’s 93% leap. Much of those sales were tied to the casualwear trend that has been on fire as people fall into more comfortable apparel while working from their couches, bedrooms, and kitchen tables.
“There’s no doubt online has accelerated two to three years into the future,” Rorsted said on CNBC. “But if you asked most people, there’s a big social element about going out and shopping and just seeing and feeling the products again.”
At the same time, Rorsted doesn’t see a return to the pre-pandemic workday attire anytime soon. “I think it’s going to be a very long way back before people want to go back to a suit and brown shoes,” he said, noting the trend was already in place.
“There’s no doubt the pandemic has really accelerated that,” he added. “Working from home and having a much more casual lifestyle is actually playing very much back into a lot of the clothing we have.”
Adidas had struggled for much of the past decade but got its balance back in the past two years as it readdressed its markets and the casualwear trend was picking up speed. Adidas is the largest maker of athletic shoes and apparel and sporting goods in Europe and second in the world only to Nike. But Adidas is targeting growth on this side of the ocean.
North America “represents the biggest market in the sporting goods industry with a total share of approximately 40%,” according to the company’s website.
“It is the single biggest growth opportunity for the Adidas brand,” which is why “we have made North America a strategic priority and started to significantly increase our investments into our U.S. business,” the company said.
“So, we’ll continue to build stores,” Rorsted said. “We’ll announce in March of next year where we’re going to build.” Adidas already has a 177-store fleet in the United States.
It plans to outline a five-year growth plan in March that could include the sale of the Reebok athletic brand it paid $3.8 billion for in 2006. In a statement, Adidas said it “has begun to assess strategic alternatives for Reebok."
“These strategic alternatives include both a potential sale of Reebok as well as Reebok remaining a part of the company,” Adidas said. It has marked March 10 as the release date of its new strategy.
Grocers, Home Goods and (Yes) Gyms Will Be the Top Retail Performers Next Year
Placer.ai has released its forecast for the best-performing retailers in 2021. Some of the names on the list are no surprise, like grocers and home goods stores, which have both benefitted during the pandemic. Others are a surprise. Planet Fitness, for example, landed a spot on the list, as did indoor malls. These retailers, according to Placer.ai data, are well-positioned for a strong performance next year.
Traditional grocers Albertsons, Kroger, and Publix have all had a strong 2020 with visits up from January through November 5.3%, .7%, and -1.7% respectively. Isolating for June through November, all three chains had an increase in visits. In addition, the duration of visits increased by 7.1% on average for all three brands, which Placer.ai says is typically an indication of larger basket size.
HomeGoods, At Home, and Tractor Supply are driving performance in the home goods retailer category. At Home, visits were up 25.9% from June to November, while HomeGoods had an average 6.7% year-over-year increase in traffic from July through November. Tractor Supply visits increased 14.6% from January to November, impressive considering January visits alone were down 3.4% year-over-year. It is worth noting that Home Depot and Lowe’s are not included in this list because they led the same category for top retailers in 2020, and we not eligible for the repeat title.
While it isn’t surprising to see these retailers make the list after the banner year that they have had, Planet Fitness and top tier indoor malls have also made the top-retailer list for 2021. This year, Planet Fitness had increased year-over-year foot traffic in January and February. Stay-at-home orders forced the brand to close, but visits have started to rebound in October and November, showing the potential for rapid recovery once doors are reopened. In addition, the brand never saw the extreme drop-off in visits that other fitness brands did. The industry standard this year was -70% in visits, while Planet Fitness remained in the -30% range.
Indoor malls are perhaps the most surprising addition to the list. However, Placer.ai was encouraged by the jump in mall visits during the holidays. For the week of Super Saturday, mall traffic was down only 29.9%. In addition, pent up demand for shopping spaces, an evolving mix of retailers, and more owners embracing the retail evolution all spell good news for the future of malls. Placer.ai says that these trends have the potential to trigger a surge in the retail sector in the coming years.
In addition to these retail segments, Kohl’s and Dollar General also made the list of Placer.ai’s forecast for the top retailers next year.
The Four Phases of Recovery We Can Expect Next Year
We may not know how unemployed workers have fared until the end of 2021.
By Les Shaver
Everyone expects a rocky ride for the US economy for the first half of 2021 as the vaccine is distributed and policymakers weigh steps to boost the economy. But, at least according to one account, the recovery will unfold in a series of stages.
John Leer, writing for Morning Consult, says the economy will experience four distinct phases in the year ahead. From January to April, the second coronavirus relief package’s initial spending will create a stimulus high as unemployment insurance and stimulus checks offset the virus’s negative economic consequences, according to Leer.
“Consumers across the income spectrum will grow more confident in the economy once the money hits their accounts, driving increases in consumer spending and employment through the middle of April,” Leer writes.
By late April, Leer expects the effects of the second coronavirus relief bill to wane as unemployment benefits expire and the stimulus boost burns off, exposing weaknesses in households’ finances.
But once the vaccine is widely distributed by the end of Q2, Leer anticipates a bounce back as a wave of spending as Americans eat out and travel. That should drive a rebound through most of the remainder of the year. Restaurants and gyms are likely to see a resumption of activity before international travel increases later in the year.
By December, the economy should enter a period of normalization. Leer thinks that if large groups of unemployed workers can’t find work, then the pandemic’s economic scars will likely limit economic activity heading into 2022.
Unfortunately, not all workers will find jobs at the same pace even as the economy pushes through to normalization. The effect will be the continuation of the K-shaped recovery we have seen this year.
The K-shaped recovery is characterized by two groups of employees: higher-paid workers, who are weathering the recession, and lower-paid laborers, who are struggling.
“Individuals with less education were more than twice as likely to be out of work as college graduates,” according to Marcus & Millichap in a recent research brief. “People without a bachelor’s degree are more likely to have been employed in lower-skilled roles that were disproportionately affected by stay-at-home orders.”
The uneven recovery has had the same disconnect with commercial real estate, with some asset classes recovering based on how well its users are doing, versus others that are still flailing. To use an oft-cited example, the retail and hospitality sectors have borne a heavy burden from Covid-19, while the apartment and industrial sectors not only survived but also flourished, in the latter case.
Recent pricing in these categories shows these trends are unlikely to dissipate any time soon and will likely follow Leer’s four stages of US economic recovery.
In October according to the US National All-Property Index, the apartment sector rose 7.2% and industrial 8.5%. Retail prices were down 5.2% from a year prior. The office sector continued to fall at about a 1% annual rate, with suburban offices leading that slide, falling 1.6% year-over-year in October.
E-commerce Isn’t Replacing Retail
Customers expect an omnichannel experience, and both online and brick-and-mortar retailers will need to adjust.
This year, online shopping has been record-breaking. It is no surprise. Consumers had few other options this year other than to buy goods online. The surge in demand has to lead to a similar frenzy for industrial development, but Jonathan Needell of KIMC says that the exuberance may be premature.
“Everyone talks about the pandemic accelerating things that were already afoot, and that includes e-commerce,” Needell, the president and chief investment officer at KIMC, tells GlobeSt.com. “We saw the growth in e-commerce go through the roof with the pandemic started. I think that we can expect the growth rate to decline fairly dramatically just because the denominator is so much greater and there will pent-up demand. That could mean that the growth declines, flattens, or goes to a lower growth rate. It is hard to say—and it could re-accelerate.”
Online and omnichannel retailers will likely see a decrease in activity next year. “If you are omnichannel, there is going to be some drop-off in delivery demand,” says Needell. “Now, there is also a pent-up demand to get out of the house. That pent-up demand will take a notch off of the growth rate for e-commerce.”
Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers will see a similar change in activity due to the pandemic. Many of these retailers will be forced to adopt omnichannel platforms. “We saw this acceleration of change that changed retail as well. Retailers have gone out of business and those spaces will need to be filled by other concepts, not the same kind that went out of business,” says Needell. “I think those concepts are going to be more omnichannel concepts.
The adoption of omnichannel will also lead to a significant change in the retail store. Many retailers will use physical locations to satisfy the last mile, altering demand for both retail and industrial products. “Retailers are going to use store space for some last-mile delivery,” says Needell. “There will be an impact on industrial as well as retail for that reason.”
For omnichannel platforms, a dual-use of brick-and-mortar will ultimately be a cost saver and ease supply chain challenges. “When the customer drives to the store and satisfies the last mile, it is better for you as a retailer if you are operating the retail space anyway,” says Needell. “If you are not operating a retail space, the delivery is a better margin and lower cost option. We are in a strange world where e-commerce is no longer a disruptor; it is now that omnichannel is the way of the future. The customer expects you to be both.”