Re-Inventing Retail

From the Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute.
Tips | Tactics | Insights on the Business of Retailing.

Landlords: The Power Has Shifted Bookmark

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You know them all, right? 

Warby Parker, eyewear; Everlane, apparel and accessories; Casper, mattresses; Harry’s, razors; Untuckit, button-down shirts; Allbirds, tennis shoes; Boll and Branch, bedding.

All began online-only, then started to open brick-and-mortar locations.

Now, they are coveted tenants by the malls.

How coveted? According to a report by Lauren Thomas on CNBC, 

“Real estate developers like Macerich, Simon Property Group, General Growth properties, and Taubman are offering up-and-coming retailers flexible lease terms, helping them design their spaces and promising other sweetened benefits to entice them to move into their properties.”

Short-term, low-risk leases? For small retail shops?! 

No, it’s not fake news!

The balance of power has shifted. Today, these small, specialty retailers are the traffic-generators. Not the malls; not the department store “anchor tenants.”


How did this happen? It’s all about the customer data.

  • These internet-first companies know the characteristics of their most profitable customers, where there are more like them, and how to attract them.
  • The malls are more than happy to do whatever it takes to have these kinds of retailers in their properties.

And that creates opportunities for all savvy retailers.

As we have long taught, every retailer can and should collect, analyze, and apply your customer data to all of your strategic decisions.

  • And now, armed with that knowledge, you can approach any landlord with the offer of how the presence of your store (and your customer following) will help their property.
  • "What is it worth to them to have your customers coming to their center?"

Treat your customer information as the valuable – and proprietary! – asset it is. It is truly the coin of the realm. One that even is recognized by landlords!

At long last, the power to negotiate is rapidly shifting from landlords to savvy retailers. Be one!

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About The Co-Founders

Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, The Co-Founders of The Retail Owners Institute®, have been called "The Zen masters of retail finance!"

Since 1999, they have been assembling  their proprietary content into a unique self-help website. The Retail Owners Institute is an unmatched resource that assists retailers worldwide with basic financial training, assistance and easy-to-use tools.

Their engaging and empowering how-to resources about the financial levers in retailing are informative, fun(!), and retailer-friendly. Their promise: "Everyone will 'get it'!"

Pat and Dick are recognized experts in strategic retailing. Working only as a team – Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists, LLC – they have been consulting, publishing, and speaking professionally throughout North America since 1990.

They focus exclusively on retail, or wherever retail is involved. They work with CEOs, CFOs, boards and owners of retail operations, as well as manufacturers or wholesalers expanding into retail. And they also are Retail Turnaround Experts.

Since 1999, empowering retailers and store owners to "Turn on your financial headlights!"