Monday, December 15, 2008
Mervyn's Bankruptcy Leases Purchased by Kohl's & Forever 21
Good locations trump bad economic times.
I'm leading with the moral of the story. I know that is bass ackward. Although this market is somewhat that way too. So, it makes sense!
Have you seen a Forever 21 store? I have, they do not look like a company that would set up shop in a 80,000 square foot space recently occupied by Mervyn's. Maybe they will take a front corner section and install ice skating or a BMX park in the other 70,000 square feet. Now to be news worthy, F21 expects to widen their product line offerings and step up to a big box presence. I am NOT going to that new store with my daughter anytime soon.
Kohl's I understand. They were head to head competitors with Mervyn's. Although, may I ask, where was Target in this bidding?
The bankruptcy auction of these spaces yielded interesting results. F21 bid on some 70 Mervyn's locations. They walked away with 15. Other bidders were real estate investors. They undoubtedly won some spaces. Which probably will then be offered to the Kohl's and Forever 21 companies.
The auctions were oversubscribed because there was good value in the under- market leases that Mervyn's controlled. As in a previous posting, some of these spaces were at $.20 per foot! Bankruptcies gives us a good vantage point on real estate. Kmart went through the same process years ago. Some sites were swooped up (as in Kohl's first entry into the Bay Area) and other sites sit vacant in the middle of long stretches of highway from here to nowhere. Yes, that is why I like in-fill locations in strong metros. (Hmmm....is that the moral of the story?)