Survey: Only 12% of national brand tenants asked for rent abatements

Al Urbanski
Real Estate Editor & Manager
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Though pandemic-plagued shopping center landlords all complained of some national retail chains that refused to pay rent at all, only 12% of those willing to post their monthly payments asked for abatements.

That was the finding of Retailsphere, a data and software company that surveyed 3,300 shopping center owners and operators to learn how rent abatements were affecting their businesses.

Salons turned out to be the establishments most likely to seek deferrals of rents demanded of them during shutdowns.  More than 30% issued requests. Next in line were fitness-related businesses at 16%.

“Gyms that offer basketball, pickleball, and racquetball have a harder time bouncing back because of the restrictions. We’ve seen 55 percent of our fitness tenants request rent abatement as a result,” one Florida landlord told Retailsphere.

Only 4% of child-focused businesses such as daycare centers requested abatements.  Other low-request sectors were medical (6%) and food (8%). But it wasn’t all clear sailing for food and beverage brands.

Marc Brutten, the founder of the Brixton Capital investment group involved in more than 800 properties, told Retailsphere that restaurants had a tough time with the pandemic, even though many continued operating.

“Some ran out of takeout supplies and, because the warehouses they get their food trays from were closed, they could not replenish. A lot of essential businesses were not even thought of as essential and were forced to close,” Brutten said.