Retailers, landlords not seeing eye to eye

mall escalator
It seems shopping mall landlords and retailers have two different visions of the future.

It seems that retailers and shopping center landlords are not on the same page when it comes to brick-and-mortar stores. 

According to results of an FTI Consulting survey, 61% of retailers agree or strongly agree that adding new stores is critical to their sales growth, while 93% of landlords agree or strongly agree with this statement. 

At the top of the list for benefits to offer retail tenants, 87% of landlords cited a high-traffic location and 73% said a compelling architectural design and physical environment. But again, retailers had different top priorities. While also citing high-traffic location as a priority, 66%, more than half, 52%, listed convenient parking as the second priority for their brick-and-mortar location. 

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The biggest disagreement came in the form of flexible store configuration, which was important to 40% or retailers and 10% of landlords. 

Christa Hart, a senior managing director in the retail and consumer products practice at FTI Consulting, says that the disconnect between the two identities comes from retailers being in denial about the shifts in consumer trends. For example, 60% of landlords say that retail customers are shopping in-store less often, but only 37% of retailers agree with this statement. Therefore, it's no wonder that their concerns and priorities remain different. 

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As a result, retailers are less concerned with the shift to online shopping and so prioritizing improvement in management, 74%; a refresh and upgrade in stores, 69%; offering flexible return policies, 67%; and improvement in the checkout experience, 44%. 

Looking at the survey results, it is no surprise that landlords are far more concerned than retailers about the shift to online shopping, 80% versus 57%.