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Nine Must Reads for the CRE Industry (Feb. 25, 2021)

The Wall Street Journal looks at what’s at stake in the bidding war that has emerged over proptech firm CoreLogic. The NRF has projected that U.S. retail sales will rise between 6.5 percent and 8.2 percent this year, reports CNBC. These are among today’s must reads from around the commercial real estate industry.

  1. Hot Housing Market Fuels Takeover Battle for CoreLogic “If CoStar prevails, the Washington, D.C.-based data giant plans to use CoreLogic to challenge Zillow Group Inc. for dominance of the multibillion-dollar online home-sales marketplace. CoStar last year made its first push into the home-sales market by buying Homesnap Inc. for $250 million.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  2. U.S. retail sales to rise 6.5% to 8.2% in 2021, as Covid vaccine triggers fastest economic growth in over two decades, NRF says “Retail sales are expected to grow this year between 6.5% and 8.2%, amounting to more than $4.33 trillion in sales, as the U.S. economy begins to reopen and more and more individuals receive the Covid vaccine, the National Retail Federation said Wednesday.” (CNBC)
  3. Fry's Electronics suddenly went out of business “Fry's Electronics suddenly closed all of its stores overnight, ending a nearly four-decade run in business. The company, which had 31 stores across nine US states, said in a statement on its website that it "made the difficult decision to shut down its operations and close its business permanently" because of changing consumer shopping habits and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.” (CNN Business)
  4. Economic pain from pandemic upends the lives of restaurant owners, entertainers “By the end of 2020, about 17% of all U.S. restaurants – about 110,000 - had closed long term or shuttered for good, according to the National Restaurant Association. Matt Strickland is determined that his business will not be next. The owner of Gourmeltz in Fredericksburg, Virginia, is continuing to operate his restaurant even though he said his license had been revoked by health officials for failing to comply with COVID-19 restrictions.” (Reuters)
  5. CRE Crowdfunding Is Evolving, But Hasn’t Had Its GameStop Moment “Retail investors are looking to alternative investments as well, such as commercial real estate, as crowdfunding models and platforms continue to evolve and expand access, with lower minimums, secondary trading and more attention to local offerings. And, on the supply side, real estate owners are turning to retail investors, through various models of crowdfunding, to fund projects that range from house-flipping to co-living to multifamily and mixed-use properties.”(Commercial Observer)
  6. InvenTrust Properties Corp. Announces CEO Succession Plan and Appointment of Daniel J. Busch to President “Under the Company’s new leadership structure, the Board appointed Daniel (DJ) Busch to the position of President as of February 22, 2021, at which time Mr. McGuinness resigned from the role. InvenTrust also stated that Mr. Busch will succeed Mr. McGuinness as Chief Executive Officer upon his retirement on August 6, 2021. Mr. McGuinness will run for reelection for the InvenTrust Board in May 2021 and if reelected will continue to serve out his term through May 2022.” (Via press release)
  7. Supermarkets Are Pressured to Raise Hazard Pay “Seattle, Long Beach, Calif., and other cities have passed new rules requiring supermarkets to provide employees temporary bonus pay. Others, including Los Angeles, are considering similar mandates designed to help employees who have to show up for work in public-facing jobs like cashiers or baggers and risk exposure to the coronavirus.” (The Wall Street Journal)
  8. Belk Files for Bankruptcy — How Its Chapter 11 Process Is Different From Other Chains “Belk intends to continue usual business operations throughout its financial restructuring. Under the agreement, it said it will pay suppliers for all goods and services as scheduled, while consumers will still be able to shop both online at, through its mobile app and at its roughly 300 locations across 16 Mid-Atlantic and Southern states.” (Footwear News)
  9. L.A. restaurants struggle with a new form of dine-and-dash “Spoon by H is one of a growing number of Los Angeles restaurants dealing with customers attempting new ways to dine and dash during the pandemic. Scammers are taking advantage of restaurants that have prioritized safety over in-person security measures such as checking driver’s licenses and manually swiping credit cards. Some people are scamming restaurateurs with fraudulent credit cards, while others request refunds, claiming they never received part or all of an order.” (Los Angeles Times)
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