Shaky Economy, Strip Malls Struggle - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Shaky Economy, Strip Malls Struggle

Susan Hobbs, Florist Susan Hobbs, Florist
J. Gaut, Local Commercial Real Estate Agent J. Gaut, Local Commercial Real Estate Agent

Amarillo strip malls are not immune to the downward trend the economy is having on our area.   More retailers are moving out of strip malls at a rapid rate. Thousands nationwide and hundreds locally.

Some business owners say it's just not cost effective to stay in business during rough times.  Florist Susan Hobbs had her sights set high when she opened up her flower shop three years.  "Initially that was our first goal to get that walk in traffic get in easy out and pick up flowers, Hobbs said.

For other business owners like Hobbs, things have changed.. rising rent and a lack of clientele have forced businesses to make changes. "Most of our first business is over the phone. Second is because rent is so high this time and the economy. It's hard to make ends meet," Hobbs explains her business trends.

With the economy on everyone's mind, realtors and retailers are looking to work together.   Local Commercial Real Estate agent, J. Gaut says most strip mall landlords will negotiate.  "It really depends on the style of the land lord what they want to do most of our local landlords are appreciative of their tenants," Gaut said.

Hobbs is not sure if rent terms are negotiable, "I don" know if there is much they can do. I don't know if lowering the rent is a feasible goal, but it's hard," she said.

Both are optimistic that the lease signs will change once the new year hits, bringing in a variety of stores and better prices for consumers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics are not so optimistic. They predict 73,000 retailers will close up shop in strip malls in 2009. 


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