National retail rent collections are increasing after several months of declining collections. According to Datex Property Solutions' latest Tenant Track Report, retail rent collections hit 77.2% in July, up from 68.1% in June and 57.2% in May. The increase in rent collections may be a sign that retailers are adjusting to new regulations and shopping norms.

"There are a few variables driving the uptick in retail collections since the lows in April," Mark Sigal of Datex Property Solutions tells "One, we have moved into a period of "new normal" where the merchant categories that required re-factoring or re-configuration to accommodate social distancing protocols have done just that, making it easier for these operators to generate income, which is their "oxygen" to pay rent. Case in point, Restaurants have gotten better at accommodating takeout and delivery services. Additionally, beauty supply operators have better integrated online buying with local pickup.

Cities have also evolved and started to help retailers find ways to adapt during the pandemic. "Cities have been partners in the process, making it easier for retailers to get permits for outdoor seating on Restaurants (often taking over metered parking spaces), or outdoor haircutting in cities where Hair Salons are deemed non-essential," says Sigal. "As a result, slowly but surely, more retail categories across more of the country have moved from closed to partial operations to full operations. As this has happened, the consumer has gotten better at navigating this new reality. Finally, the first wave of PPP loans has acted as a critical economic backstop keeping numerous retailers in business who otherwise might have failed."

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.