“Nationwide, vacancy rates for neighborhood shopping centers set a 10-year high during the second quarter and range just under eight percent now,” Wein said. “On average, small shop retailers account for about eight percent of the space in neighborhood retail centers, so it’s imperative that property owners and managers do everything they can to encourage the success of their mom-and-pop tenants,” she said.
Wein said rent concessions and lease contract modifications may form a part of the solution, but successful landlords are looking elsewhere.
“The best retail property owners look at their small shop tenants as strategic partners,” Wein said. “They realize that marketing efforts, signage, and organizational efforts like marketing co-ops can play a big role in the success of small retailers and that can make a difference between a thriving retail center and a lot of “for rent” signs,” she said.
The most important asset a property manager can provide is time, Wein said. “Property managers should cultivate tenant relationships and learn what their tenants’ needs are,” Wein said.
“In the long run, small tenants require more time and energy, but they play a vital role in creating the synergy that shoppers seek in a neighborhood retail center,” she said.