Call it a “silent killer”, but there is a big threat coming to US malls that many don’t see coming. While the big bout of retail bankruptcies in 2017 hit the industry hard, a less headline-grabbing, but more widespread issue might cause bigger issues in 2018. That issue is that smaller mall tenants are likely to simply not renew their leases. Smaller operators between the big anchor stores actually generate more revenue for malls, and a decrease in tenancy would be a big blow to mall revenue. Smaller operators are actually better indicators of retail health because their lease terms keep them on the lookout for greener pastures.
FINSUM: Mall REITs could be in for a rough time here. While little companies won’t get much press, this pending increase in vacancy rates could hit malls hard.