When a big box store goes out of business, some local retailers might feel a sense of impending dread, but Arturo Adonay sees opportunity. Adonay, a partner with a new company called Olé Realty Group, has started a business placing independent retailers in former big box store locations or former malls that have been divided into smaller retail outlets for new entrepreneurs. “It’s going to be hard for shopping centers these days to come up with retailers who can fill the big spaces,” Adonay says. “We come up with alternatives for them. In some markets, we can get more per square foot by breaking it down into smaller spaces,” he adds.
What Adonay and his partners are doing makes sense from a business perspective. “Small malls start dying once the big box stores that anchor them close,” he says. “We can help them get that space filled.” Olé Realty Group not only converts the large spaces into smaller, more usable units, but it also analyzes the market to find out what the need is for the neighborhood. “As the current economic situation continues, more big stores will be available and looking for creative solutions,” Adonay says.
The company analyzes the area in a 50-mile radius to help attract the right retailers. “We see how businesses are doing,” Adonay says. “We put ads in local papers or use the outlets where retailers are looking for opportunities. We also host an open house for retailers, and work with wholesalers looking for outlets. Basically, we bring together wholesalers and entrepreneurs,” he concludes.
Adonay cites one large mall in Georgia with a Burlington Coat Factory and a Marshalls as anchor stores, but many vacant stores inside. “We brought in small retailers who started with 10 x 10 space,” he recalls. “As business built up, they then moved into 5,000 and 10,000 square foot spaces within the mall, which is 100% full now.” Adonay is hopeful his business will grow with the right amount of promotion. “We feel the market is bouncing back, and business is taking off,” he says. “It’s a great experience to get the opportunity to work at different levels with different retailers.”
–Rory J. Thompson
For More Information:
Olé Realty Group
600 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC 28207