The largest shopping mall owner in the United States is warning of more store closures and even bankruptcies to confuse the retail trade in 2019.
The topic of Sears & # 39; fate did not come up on Friday's conference call, out one from that Simon said the company was at its 200th unsecured creditors' committee with Sears, now. Asked if Simon had been negotiating with the shop operator Penney, who is expected to announce further store closures at the end of this month, Simon said, "No."
Most dealers are struggling today and are expected to close several stores are highly stocked, according to Simon. "We have a long list of dealers who have struggled. And 80 to 90 percent of that list has been handed over so they couldn't turn left or right."
Simon added that, even with more retail bankruptcies threatening, he does not expect that there will be so many in 2019 as it was in 2018 and 2017. The pace of retail competition cooled last year, he said. "The days of an increasing economic tide … do not lift all the detail boats. You have a lot of performance and a lot of underperformance."
On Friday, Simon Chief Operating Officer Rick Sokolov added that the mall's owner was successful in bringing online brands such as Untuckit, Warby Parker and Fabletics to their properties. Many e-commerce companies today are raising money "just to roll out more stores," Sokolov said. "The only best thing we have for us is [our] incredibly strong properties."
Simon is in a better position than most other trading dealers today, such as CBL Properties and Washington Prime Group. Simon's properties tend to be in higher-trade markets, and analysts say Simon has more liquidity on the balance sheet in order to cope with a rebuilding activity.
"I think we have never been more concerned with alternative applications," CEO Simon told analysts about what's coming down the pipeline, adding to the future of the mall is about "live, work, play."
Simon said It ended 2018 with sales per square meter of $ 661, up 5.3 percent from a year ago. Simon's occupancy rate was 95.9 percent as of December 31, compared to 95.6 percent the year before.