The partners at Gentleman McCarty have extensive experience in the retail real estate industry, and have conducted studies for General Growth Companies, Simon Property Group, The Related Companies, Westfield and most other leading national shopping center companies.
Our research findings have led to actionable recommendations, implemented with our direct involvement and then evaluated for effectiveness.
New Store or Shopping Center Feasibility
Feasibility studies are a good way to determine the potential of a proposed retail property. Only with accurate financial and marketing projections and other key information can a development company proceed with a project with confidence.
A thorough evaluation would consider the following factors and more:
- Market support
- Location attributes
- Site characteristics
- Transfer of business location
Based on the findings of a study, recommendations can be made as to project size, timing and product offering.
Existing Store/Shopping Center Expansion or Relocation
To evaluate the expansion or relocation of an existing retail project, we follow the same steps of a feasibility analysis for a new project. The historic performance of the existing asset is also a factor. Other considerations include:
- External and internal factors
- Forecasted changes in market demographics (population growth, income shifts)
- The prospect of new competition
Acquisition or Disposition Strategy
The decision to invest in new retail properties requires the careful consideration of many factors before a final determination can be made whether it’s for a single asset or a large portfolio spread across multiple markets. Among those factors:
- Synergy with existing of assets in terms of size, sales performance, revenue generation age, market demographics, etc.
- Existing performance of the asset
- Potential for upside revenue creation
- Improved operational efficiencies
- Asset redevelopment
Evaluations use the same techniques employed in the feasibility study of a new location opportunity or the expansion of an existing asset.
Through similar methods, under-performing assets are identified and evaluated for any potential to upgrade performance to meet portfolio standards.
We can assist in the preparation of marketing materials and, if needed, help present the sales opportunity to prospective buyers.
Knowing your trade area is vital. That’s why retail assets should be reviewed on an annual basis, or more frequently if conditions change rapidly. The basic building block for this review is the trade area — the geographic area from which an asset draws 70% to 80% of its sales or its shoppers.
How can trade areas be defined?
- Using proprietary data (credit card information)
- Employing consumer research (face-to-face or license plate surveys)
- Evaluating underlying market support factors (changing population, income shifts)
Existing competitors should be monitored within the trade area as well as planned future competitors that are identified.
Well-designed marketing materials are valuable tools for presenting a property to a prospective tenant. At Gentleman McCarty, we have the graphic skills and leasing background to develop professional and effective brochures and folders to meet your needs.
With proprietary screening criteria, we can help a client identify “hot spots” in a prospective market. The carefully prepared screens serve to evaluate and prioritize expansion opportunities.
For retail clients, the target might be proposed/existing shopping centers or freestanding locations. For developers, it may be potential development sites, which could then be subject to feasibility studies.
Clear and concise communications are critical between partners and investors. To that end, we can prepare periodic “report cards” for partner-owned assets, or on the portfolio as a whole, to be distributed at investor meetings. The handouts can be as generic or as detailed as the situation dictates.
Accurately conveying the quality of assets to potential lenders is critical when financing a new asset or refinancing existing debt.
Gentleman McCarty can help prepare effective brochures for the subject assets or help craft responses to specific questions raised by the lenders.
Expert Witness Services
Whether testifying in court or appearing before a government panel, Gentleman McCarty brings great credibility to issues of concern. That’s the result of nearly 35 years of experience in the retail real estate sector, including 26 years conducting research at the largest REIT in the United States.