Duke Long has an attitude. He is down, down, down on the prospects for retail "bricks and mortar" especially the "dead and empty malls." He mainly cites the changing consumer experience - on-line shopping - and changing demographics as the major problem for traditional retail. I suspect he has a point, especially about the changing demographics.
One of the problems with owning real estate is that you can't move it. When the neighborhood changes, when traffic patterns change, when a fancy new center opens one interchange away, you're stuck.
One issue that Duke didn't discuss is over-building. It wasn't all that long ago that everybody and their brother was a real estate developer. Seems to us that too much was built too quickly in the 1997-2006 decade. The market will take its time in correcting that imbalance. Chances are real good that we won't be seeing any speculative retail development any time soon, which will help that correction. In the meantime, there are opportunities to be had in the adaptive re-use of empty and unloved buildings.
All you have to do is watch the traffic at the new Ollies store in Newark (see 5/12 post and pictures) to realize that sometimes shopping is a social experience. Bricks and mortar retailers still have some life in them. Bless them all!
Here is Duke Long.................