McGraw Commercial Properties manager, Neil Dailey, continues his series of conversations (here and here) with the various divisions of McGraw Commercial Properties on a Zoom call with Julie Buxton and Kayla Sharp. Julie and Kayla are part McGraw Commercial Properties retail division and give an update on what they are seeing in the market as things start to slowly re-open following COVID-19 shutdowns.
Here are the highlights of the conversation:
Thinking Outside the Box
In many ways, the retail businesses that have been able to think outside the box and become adaptable are the ones that will continue to be able to survive this pandemic. We see this across the board, and historically, we know that crisis tends to drive innovation within the market and that really favors businesses that can adapt quickly. While large sectors of the retail market have seen a massive reduction in business, certain industries are actually thriving. It comes as no surprise that businesses in the medical world are seeing an uptick in consumer activity, and Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana industry has also seen a large bump. Other establishments like fast food and liquor businesses are also doing well as more people order to go and have been stuck at home.
Tenant and Owner Co-operation
A bright spot in the crisis has been the ability of tenants and owners to work together when it comes to restructuring agreements. Everyone is struggling in some way, and what we have seen is when tenants and owners come together things tend to go much more smoothly.
Changes in Lease and Contract Language
Another change we are seeing that will is likely to persist is in the lease and contract language. Many have started adding force majeure for pandemics, acts of God, civil unrest, etc. that just wasn’t on people’s radar previously. We are also seeing a broader use of digital signatures, and believe this will also become more common moving into the future.
Navigating Lasting Effects of the Pandemic
Retail establishments are having to think and plan for what re-opening really looks like after the pandemic is really behind us. The general expectation is that people will still be hesitant to go out at the rate in which they were before this started, and that obviously will have an impact on sales. We also foresee some form of social distancing remaining as the norm in many places, resulting in restaurant tables being spaced apart, reminders on the flat and elevated surfaces, and buffet bars disappearing altogether. Another remaining vestige will be the frequency of sanitation stations in gyms, grocery stores, and other retail establishments.
For more information about how McGraw Commercial Properties can help you with your retail property needs, you can visit our Retail & Restuarant Services tab or call 918.388.9588 today.