Stephen Ross to retailers: Brace yourself for bankruptcies

The Related Companies chairman said he is concerned that many retailers and small businesses will be unable to bounce back

National /
May.May 27, 2020 02:30 PM
Stephen Ross, chairman of Related Companies (Getty)

Stephen Ross, chairman of Related Companies (Getty)

Stephen Ross predicts the coronavirus pandemic will result in a “flood of cases going to the bankruptcy court.”

The chairman of Related Companies appeared on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Tuesday to discuss the impact of the virus, and said he’s especially concerned about the effect on retailers and small businesses.

“Many of them probably don’t have the wherewithal to reopen,” he told CNBC.

Neiman Marcus, which anchors Hudson Yards, is one of Related’s most high profile tenants to declare bankruptcy. The retailer had said it was the pandemic that triggered the filing.

Ross said he doesn’t view the wave of bankruptcies as “induced by bad practices.”

“It’s really all driven by the pandemic,” he said on the TV segment.

Related CEO Jeff Blau previously told CNBC that the company had collected 35 percent of its overall retail rents as of mid-April. However, at its enclosed shopping centers, Related collected 20 percent of rents. It’s unclear how collections fared by the end of the month.

Blau has previously said that tenants who are able to pay rent should not take advantage of the current climate. “It’s a whole ecosystem. The people that can pay need to pay,” he said in April. “Landlords need to help out those that can’t.”
[CNBC] — Erin Hudson


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