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Real estate mogul Sam Zell calls retail a ‘falling knife’ that hasn’t hit a bottom yet


One of the largest actual estate moguls in America — who was one of many largest traders in retail — thinks there may be nonetheless extra turmoil to come back for an business that has already seen dozens of retail bankruptcies and hundreds of retailer closures this 12 months. 

“There is no question in my mind that retail is a falling knife, and we are for sure not at the bottom,” Sam Zell advised CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Wednesday morning. 

“We started this whole [pandemic] with more retail space per person than any other country in the world, by a multiple,” Zell mentioned. “The change in retail is really just a reorganization of oversupply.” 

“The pandemic has accelerated the amount of online retail, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change,” he added. “That’s going to require future retail real estate to be very different than it has [been] up until now.” 

The coronavirus pandemic compelled retailers like Nordstrom and Gap that have been deemed nonessential to briefly shut their shops, to attempt to curb the unfold of Covid-19. Malls additionally went darkish. 

The complications have solely since mounted for retail actual estate firms like the largest U.S. mall proprietor Simon Property Group and New Jersey’s American Dream proprietor Triple Five Group, that are grappling with retail chains and eating places both not paying lease or going out of enterprise fully. 

Tennessee-based mall proprietor CBL & Associates is anticipated to file for chapter earlier than the 12 months is over — one other signal of how a lot stress the business is going through. 

Only a handful of outlets together with Walmart, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods have reported robust gross sales throughout the pandemic, with shoppers flocking to their web sites and shops for groceries, out of doors gear and different important gadgets. 



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