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Bob Bartell, Global Head of Corporate Finance at Duff & Phelps, was recently quoted in Law360 in the article “J. Crew Just First in Expected Flood of Retail Bankruptcies,” which highlights the current challenges affecting both retailers and landlords.
Commenting on the views taken by landlords during the onset of restrictions, Bob comments, “There is no telling how long that light touch might last, and that some heavy burdens might come due for struggling retailers. The landlords have been by and large, from what we've heard, patient and compassionate. However, they have a business to run themselves."
“Landlords often have to answer to their own financiers and may be forced to come up with creative solutions on leases with companies that aren't currently making any money. Eviction is not an attractive option because, unlike in a stable, robust economy, there are no tenants lined up to take the place of an evicted retailer.”
He concludes by stating, "In today's market, with COVID-19, the question will be what are the landlords' alternatives? Do they want to be patient so they can help these companies survive, and be viable and then get paid in the future through equity, or some kind of performance enhancement lease payment?"
Law360 subscribers can view the full article here.