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Thasos 2019 Retail REIT Performance Update Finds Westfield And Urstadt Biddle Atop Industry Performance Rankings

Date 15/04/2019

  • Issued Just Weeks Ahead of 1Q Earnings Reports for U.S. Shopping Mall REITs, In-Depth Report Shows Volatile Activity Since ‘Retail Apocalypse’
  • New Performance Update Uses Unique ‘Thasos Trade Area’ Tool and Shows Mall Foot Traffic Growth Declining Nationwide
  • Thasos MallStreams and Attribution Data Is Now Available Via Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point

Thasos, an alternative data intelligence firm that transforms real-time locations from mobile phones into objective and actionable insights, today published its 2019 Retail REIT Performance Update to provide deep and actionable insights into the state of U.S. retail REITs.

Download the full report here.

The study brings unprecedented insight into the state of U.S. shopping mall REITs just weeks before 1Q 2019 earnings are reported, and demonstrates the power of Thasos’ data and analytics following Bloomberg’s announcement naming Thasos as one of the first alternative data providers available via Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point.

Key findings in the report:

  • Overall, the foot traffic growth that U.S. malls experienced starting in late 2017 has peaked and begun to reverse course in recent months.
  • Grocery-anchored open-air malls (GAOAs) continue to outperform all other mall categories, but the margin of this outperformance narrowed significantly in 2018.
  • “Experiential tenants” (including Tesla, Apple, Eataly, Starbucks Reserve and other high-end destinations) have yet to provide a meaningful edge in year-over-year visitation growth.
  • Beginning January 2018, small strip centers without major anchor tenants began to outperform open-air malls anchored by big-box retailers, reversing a 2017 trend.
  • Foot traffic to U.S. outlet malls, which are typically outdoor retail destinations, showed a significant growth decline beginning July 2018.

Thasos produced this Performance Update using the “Thasos Trade Area” methodology, a new measurement system that only includes the areas that actually provide foot traffic to a location, in correct proportion, as opposed to including all residents within a certain radius. For example, Thasos Trade Area discounts New York City residents when evaluating New Jersey’s Edgewater Commons mall; those residents are incorrectly included in traditional “fixed ring” measurements of the complex. By weighting contributing census blocks by visitation, Thasos identifies a property’s true customer profile and dramatically improves transparency into real customer demographics, a development that shakes up traditional REIT rankings.

The resulting 2019 Retail REIT Performance Rankings are as follows:

Enclosed Retail REITs:

  1. Westfield (EuronextParis: URW)
  2. Taubman Centers (NYSE: TCO)
  3. Macerich (NYSE: MAC)
  4. Pennsylvania REIT (NYSE: PEI)
  5. Simon Property Group (NYSE: SPG)
  6. Brookfield Property Partners (NASDAQ: BPY)
  7. Washington Prime Group (NYSE: WPG)
  8. CBL Properties (NYSE: CBL)

Open-Air Retail REITs - Top 3:

  1. Urstadt Biddle Properties (NYSE: UBA)
  2. Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE: WRE)
  3. Saul Centers (NYSE: BFS)

Open-Air Retail REITs - Bottom 3:

  1. Armada Hoffler Properties (NYSE: AHH)
  2. Retail Value (NYSE: RVI)
  3. Vereit Inc (NYSE: VER)

“Thasos Trade Area will revolutionize the way the REIT industry measures and analyzes foot traffic,” said Greg Skibiski, Founder and CEO of Thasos. “The granularity of our data provides insights never before available and will be critical in uncovering opportunities for investors and companies themselves.”

The 2019 Retail REIT Performance Update follows the announcement that Thasos has been selected as one of the first alternative data providers available via Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point, an online Linked Data Platform that provides normalized access to reference, pricing, regulatory and historical datasets for Bloomberg Data License clients.

“We are excited to work with an innovative firm like Thasos that helps fulfill the promise of Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point in empowering financial firms to capitalize on data and make it a strategic asset,” said Matthew Rawlings, Chief Data Officer, Enterprise Data at Bloomberg.

Bloomberg will provide easy access to Thasos Trade Area through the Thasos MallStreams and Attribution products, now available via the Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point. MallStreams measures and reports on daily customer visitation for retail REITs, including segmentation by individual mall, quality rating, anchors, and property type, and Attribution is an add-on that captures customer demographics, including household income, loyalty, distance traveled and cross shopping patterns for other malls and individual retailers. Bloomberg Terminal subscribers can also view a free version of the product, the Thasos Mall REIT Foot Traffic Index (THMRFOTR), by accessing the function THAS <GO>.

All Thasos clients can access the firm’s unique, web-based dashboard for real estate, an interface that bridges the gap between hard data science and actionable business insights. Users can extract value from MallStreams and Attribution immediately upon subscription, not needing the lengthy technology buildout typically required of granular and highly dimensional data sets.

With the availability of Thasos’ MallStreams and Attribution to Bloomberg clients, it is now easier to consume one of the most high-profile and state-of-the-art sources of data on more than 3,500 U.S. malls and their tenants. Access to the data via Bloomberg Enterprise Access Point instantly streamlines investor research workflow, as data consumers can receive the product through their normal Bloomberg interface.

“We are thrilled to have Thasos, and our MallStreams and Attribution services, recognized by Bloomberg for the unique, actionable information we provide to investors and to companies,” said Skibiski. “The availability of our data to Bloomberg customers furthers our mission of making alternative data accessible, including to firms that lack teams of data scientists.”