So What Are We Going to Do with the Retail Malls?


In some cases, these locations can be redeveloped. Uber bought the art-deco Sears Building in Oakland and is remodeling it for its new headquarters. The buyer of Macy’s men’s store in San Francisco will redevelop it into something else. No problem. But closing thousands of stores at already struggling malls around the country, in an industry — brick-and-mortar retail — that will remain on a sharp downward curve, cannot be so easily dealt with. And it will dog investors in that space for years to come.

Moody’s yesterday warned that retailers have replaced oil & gas as the most distressed sector. Of the retailers it rates, 14% are rated Caa/Ca, which is in deep junk. At the worst point during the Financial Crisis, 16% were rated that low, and many buckled under their debts. It expects current retailers to beat that sad record over the next few years.

Deportation fusion centers, perhaps?