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Retail showing major cracks

The Westchester (Credit: Simon Property Group)

Some retail tenants are aiming to rewrite their leases to include pandemic escape clauses and other additional forms of relief, setting up a showdown with landlords who oppose these measures.

  • Be Smart: Landlords may feel pressure to renegotiate because a number of tenants have made clear they aren’t paying May rent under the current conditions. With more retailers potentially filing for bankruptcy protection, some property owners suggest they are willing to discuss lease modifications, WSJ noted.
  • Worth NotingSimon Property Group, the largest U.S. shopping mall owner, is planning to reopen 49 malls and outlet centers in states loosening stay-at-home restrictions. The properties will begin operating with reduced hours, and they will offer free masks to shoppers at the mall management office.
  • Not all retailers will reopen: The parent company of Harry & David, the gourmet fruit seller known for its gift baskets, has decided to permanently close 38 of the brand’s bricks-and-mortar locations in the U.S. and focus on an e-commerce future. 1-800-Flowers owns the 86-year-old brand, and plans to keep one store open in Oregon.

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