The Real Deal New York

Sam Zell describes retail real estate as a “falling knife”

Country has several obsolete shopping centers, according to developer
March 20, 2018 10:00AM

Sam Zell and Toys “R” Us (Credit: Getty Images)

Retail’s well-publicized struggles are still far from over, according to Sam Zell.

The chairman of Equity International Group and Equity Residential discussed the state of the industry Tuesday morning on Bloomberg Daybreak, where he described retail as “still a falling knife.” The United States has more retail per population than any other country, which has led to “an enormous number of obsolete shopping centers,” he added.

Zell also weighed in on the fate of Toys “R” Us, which recently announced plans to close all of its stores in the country.  Zell said the shopping centers that are now obsolete are the same places where stores like Toys “R” Us used to thrive and that he does not think Amazon would have any interest in the company.

Zell sat down for an interview with The Real Deal last year, where he discussed subjects ranging from Blackstone Group’s purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust to his business selling Playboy magazines as a child. [Bloomberg]Eddie Small