Leases on 1.5 Billion Square Feet of Retail Space to Expire in 2021

Inside the Westfield Santa Anita shopping mall in Arcadia, Calif. | Source: Getty

Fourteen percent of the US retail market is coming up for lease renewals this year, furthering a trend towards shorter length leases, reports CNBC, as retailers struggle to fill vacant spaces. 

Retailers are thinking carefully about their store networks and looking to exit enclosed shopping malls. 

VF Corp is among the companies that has said its leases are getting shorter, especially coming out of the pandemic. Its average lease term now is four years. Traditionally, retailers signed 10 or 20-year leases when opening new stores. 

While shorter leases give stores more leverage, mall owners may increase rates in a few years. David Simon, chief executive of Simon Property Group, told analysts in February that “I’d rather negotiate two or three years from now.”

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