2011 will go down as the year Blockbuster shuttered its doors, unable to keep up with Redbox kiosks and Netflix supremacy.
But to Shawn Massey, partner with The Shopping Center Group LLC, there’s a silver lining to the Blockbuster fiasco. Since there are no new developments taking place citywide, some vacancy is healthy, especially for local entrepreneurs who otherwise couldn’t afford the Class A space.
“One of the biggest boons this year was Blockbuster going out of business because they had great real estate that we were able to backfill,” Massey said. “It creates a natural progression. When somebody who has done good business moves up or down the street to a new location, that creates a new opportunity for another local entrepreneur to come in and backfill that space.”
For example, many immigrants and minority-owned businesses – i.e. nail and beauty supply and school uniform suppliers – come in and seize prime retail real estate in second generation space big-box space.
And national retailers favor, too. Last year, appliance and electronics retailer hhgregg was able to take over the spaces formerly occupied by Circuit City.
“hhgregg could have never came in and built new boxes – they wouldn’t have been here because they just can’t pay the rent that Circuit City couldn’t pay either.”
For more on Memphis retail, read tomorrow’s feature on Massey and his business partner, Robert Sloan.