The nation’s retail barons

Walmart surpasses Blackstone and all the big retail REITs in total assets
By Eda Kouch | May 01, 2016 10:15AM

From browsing luxury designer stores and boutique clothiers to negotiating sprawling supermarkets and big-box retailers, American consumers engage in a wide variety of shopping activities. But who owns all this space that figures so prominently in people’s daily lives as consumers?

Real estate investment trusts, such as Simon Property Group, and private equity firms, such as Blackstone Group, unsurprisingly rank relatively high on the list of the nation’s biggest retail property owners. Their portfolios include large regional shopping malls and other retail properties, some sprinkled across the spacious Midwest and some tucked into the smaller yet fabulous high-end main streets of the East and West coasts.

The Real Deal’s list of the top owners of retail real estate, based on national data from CoStar Group and reviewed by the companies, has some well-known household names: Walmart dominates the ranking by virtue of its total square footage inside nearly 4,000 stores. Other familiar names, such as Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s, also ranked high. 

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)