How retailers can get the ABCs of real estate and expansion

HIGH POINT — Retailers interested in expansion and the real estate market will have the opportunity to hear from a real estate expert this afternoon.

Julius Feinblum, principal of Julius M. Feinblum Real Estate, will conduct a seminar titled “Explore the Challenges in Expansion & Relocation for Furniture Stores” at the HFA Retailer Resource Center (Plaza Suites, first floor) at 4 p.m.

Feinblum told Furniture Today that the seminar is geared toward independent retailers. “It’s smaller guys who don’t see this exposure, what I’m talking about and discussing. They’re more independent and in smaller markets,” he said.

In the presentation, Feinblum will discuss the hottest real estate markets with the largest growth areas in the U.S., how to effectively analyze a real estate strategy to make the optimal decision of leasing or purchasing, and more.

He said the market predictions are always a hit among attendees.

“That’s one of my key things, uncovering the key real estate markets and growth areas in the U.S. I will share what they are and how we determined this information and how it could be misleading sometimes or helpful sometimes,” Feinblum said. “You have to know how to interpret the data. You get variables that are unpredictable based on the economy. The areas that are good furniture areas are usually good growth areas. But with good furniture areas, that means there are other guys there.”

Feinblum said, in most cases, buying property is the ideal choice if a retailer can do it, but in today’s economy, the lines between buying and leasing are getting blurrier.

“Historically, if you were in a position to do it either way, you buy because you own it, it appreciates in value over time, the tax advantages are very good, and it ensures maintaining a ceiling on your occupancy expense,” he said. “In today’s world, with the cost of money what it is and prices for good land and building costs, it creates an argument — even for guys who have a lot of money — to lease.”

He said while bankruptcies present opportunities, retailers have to understand the complexities involved in order to make the best decisions. “It opens the door to be able to get a decent location and a decent buildout where you wouldn’t have that if it wasn’t a bankruptcy or closing,” he said.

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