NEW YORK CITY-A team of Bank of America analysts that attended last week’s International Council of Shopping Centers’ Spring Convention had mostly good things to say about their meetings with retail REITs through the event. They did notice concern about a slowdown in consumer spending and new retail concepts that aren’t working as planned, though, in a recently released report.
The report notes that attendance was at a record high, at about 50,000, and retail REITs were “flush with meetings.” Also stressed are the ambitious expansion plans of fast-casual restaurant concepts.
Many of the companies that the analysts met with have significant development pipelines. CBL & Associates will deliver $367 million of new projects this year, General Growth Properties is targeting $500 million to $750 million of annual developments and redevelopments, and Simon Property Group could spend hundreds of million of dollars on revamping its recently acquired Mills Corp. portfolio.
On the retail end, the analysts note that other than restaurant chains, such retailers as Massage Envy; Bed, Bath & Beyond’s Buy Buy Baby; JC Penney and Kohl’s all have significant expansion plans. A Macerich Co. executive said Costco, Nordstrom and Target will anchor the “mall of the future.”
The convention left Bank Of America’s favorable outlook about the industry unchanged. The firm reiterated its buy ratings on Simon, Tanger Factory Outlets and Federal Realty Trust.