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Another Day In REIT Paradise: A “New” Approach To Brick-And-Mortar Retail

Mar. 29, 2021 10:05 AM ETDKS, FCPT, FR, KSS1 Comment
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  • Experiential retail was the answer to the retail apocalypse before the coronavirus hit.
  • Could it be the answer again?
  • Obviously, something needs to happen for brick-and-mortar shopping to make a comeback.

Quote of the Day:

“Life is not a problem to be solved but an experience to be had.” – Alan Watts

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(Source: Storyblocks)

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) just opened an experiential store.

In New York state.

Begging the very serious question that goes something like this: Is it out of its mind?

Millionacres, for one, seems to think its ability to reason remains intact, reporting how:

“The store will be called Dick’s House of Sports, and it will focus on giving customers a hands-on shopping experience. The store will include an outdoor field for sporting events, a rock-climbing wall, and indoor wellness spaces. It’ll also give consumers an opportunity to seek advice from fitness experts who can help them choose equipment and get more out of their workout routines.

“In fact, the goal is really to create a fitness community of sorts – one that appeals to consumers and makes them want to visit. A second store is in the works for Knoxville, Tennessee, and Dick’s expects to have it open in May.”

Experiential retail was the answer to the retail apocalypse before the coronavirus hit. Could it be the answer again?

Obviously, something needs to happen for brick-and-mortar shopping to make a comeback. And different companies are coming up with their own creative forms of beating the blues.

In Kohl’s (KSS) case, that creativity has and still is paying off. It partnered with Amazon to accept returns, bringing more people to its stores – even last year.

Of course, Amazon itself is coming under pressure these days as it resists employee attempts to unionize and pushes back against some very unsanitary accusations.

Who knows. Perhaps that will end with traditional shopping making more of a comeback as well?

There’s no question about the hotel industry’s increasing prospects, however. Not if you ask Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano, anyway. He says the company is now “actively hiring” in certain markets amidst a “significant acceleration of demand.”

I’m still not willing to take a bold bullish stand on hospitality REITs at this point. But I will say this: The economy does seem more and more like it’s ready to burst open wherever and however it’s allowed to.

At the risk of stating the obvious, that’s probably a healthy sign of what’s to come.

The World According to Commercial Real Estate

Sometimes, I’ll admit I’m surprised when certain real estate investment trusts don’t make the headlines at least once every week and a half or so. That includes a certain retail-oriented owner mentioned in bullet-point No. 2.

We’ve seen REITs take advantage of specific circumstances before. So it’s not entirely surprising to see some go-getters emerging out of last year’s rubble.

At the same time, I do have to say I’m impressed by the growth on display these days.

  • JBG Smith (JGBS) began construction on two residential towers in National Landing, Virginia, that will accommodate 808 apartment units and about 40,000 square feet of retail between them.
  • Four Corners Property Trust (FCPT) made two acquisitions, one in Indiana for a Fresenius Medical Care property and the other in Virginia for a Chili’s restaurant building. Both are triple-net leased with six and seven years left to their terms, respectively. The first cost $2.6 million and the second $2 million.
  • Fitch affirmed its previous long-term issuer default rating for First Industrial Realty Trust (FR) and its First Industrial operating partnership at BBB with a stable outlook.

As always, that mini compilation is courtesy of The Daily REITBeat, as is the summary down below.

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(Source: The Daily REITBeat)

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Author's note: Brad Thomas is a Wall Street writer, which means he's not always right with his predictions or recommendations. Since that also applies to his grammar, please excuse any typos you may find. Also, this article is free: written and distributed only to assist in research while providing a forum for second-level thinking.

Analyst's Disclosure: I am/we are long FCPT.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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