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Macerich (MAC) Property to House SCHEELS' First Arizona Store

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The Macerich Company (MAC - Free Report) has announced that SCHEELS, a prominent sporting goods retailer, will open Arizona’s first SCHEELS store at Macerich’s Chandler Fashion Center in suburban Phoenix.

The 222,000-sq-ft store will be spread out across two levels and is within the location of the property’s former Nordstrom department store, which closed in summer 2020 amid the pandemic. The new store is slated to open in fall 2023 and is likely to attract decent foot traffic with its wide variety of offerings, including entertainment attractions and specialty shops.

Notably, Chandler is situated in Phoenix’s fast-growing East Valley market. Macerich’s ability to re-lease the Nordstrom-vacated space swiftly demonstrates the superior quality of its well-placed retail properties.

Per management, “our Arizona properties, including Chandler Fashion Center, are performing at a very high level right now, and we look at our Arizona assets as a bellwether for the rest of the portfolio, as Arizona has had fewer COVID-related restrictions.”

The company also noted that sales across its properties in Arizona exceeded the pre-pandemic 2019 levels by 18%. This indicated the pent-up consumer demand and the relaxation of mobility restrictions, which have enabled the general public to venture out of their homes. This is likely to continue translating to shopper traffic and sales in Macerich’s properties in the upcoming years.

However, over the recent years, mall traffic has continued to suffer amid a rapid shift in customers’ shopping preferences and patterns with online purchases growing by leaps and bounds. These have made retailers reconsider their footprints and eventually opt for store closures. Further, retailers, who are not being able to cope with competition, are filing for bankruptcies. This has emerged as a pressing concern for retail REITs like Macerich, Simon Property Group (SPG - Free Report) , Kimco Realty Corporation (KIM - Free Report) and Federal Realty (FRT - Free Report) , as the trend is curtailing the demand for the retail real estate space considerably.

Shares of Macerich, with a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), have gained 6.2% over the past three months, underperforming the industry's rally of 7.3%.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.



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