The franchise locations you close in shopping centres - you may never get back in.

Take care not to cause irreversible damage to your network and growth aspirations as you handle the rent issues triggered by this crisis.

Proceed With Caution  The Franchise Locations You Close In Shopping Centres You May Never Get Back In 780X660Px

We are all well aware of the implications of Covid-19 upon our businesses. Some businesses are flying, while some are dying – and everything in between.

I am not going to try and explain JobKeeper, Government assistance, rents and so on. But the key point I wish to make is best described by the statement that ‘you cannot unscramble an egg!’

We are a demographic and mapping company who prides ourselves on helping our customers make Better Business Decisions, and use ‘facts and data – not your wet finger in the air’. 

 I have lived through many downturns in business over my 20 years at Spectrum Analysis, and before that, 20 years with Caltex. The lessons I have learned is that you must react for survival in many cases, but quite often you can overreact and do things that become irreversible.

Peter Buckingham Shopping Centre Network Decisions In Covid 19 On Franchise Buyer

Irreversible network damage

I watch on frustrated when you hear a company has been placed in Administration with one of the major liquidators, and you hear words (about 1 – 2 days later) that they have looked at the business and are preparing it for sale – and are closing 30% or 50% of the locations! I have often asked “How are these decisions made”?

When I’ve asked some of these companies, the normal answer is that if the location is ‘bleeding’, a very quick decision is made to close it (obviously to preserve capital and equity – and the fees for the Administrators). The obvious question we must ask in some specific cases is, why? Is it just a poor operator, or  is it a poor site? Is it some fudged accounting – pocket vs till (undeclared) for some of the sales?

The point I make is you cannot expect to go back into a major shopping centre if that is key to your business model, if you have really upset the landlords. For example, if you give the Leasing Managers at Chadstone, the big finger, you do understand that it will be known across the whole group?

If you plan to do a “Hail Mary” approach a la what Sumo Salad did a while ago, and basically commit to walk out of all major shopping centres by placing the companies that held the leases into Administration, then you will have many people with long memories to contend with going forward.

The shopping centres

I am NOT a fan of shopping centre leasing policies and have written quite strongly about the increase in rentals compared to the shopping centre performances over quite a few years, which I thank franchise buyer for helping us distribute. You can read more on that here if you wish. 

The point is that if you need to close stores in either the short or long term, just make sure you (or your Consultants) do it for the right reasons, as you cannot unscramble the egg easily and just come back and reopen. Each time a site is closed there is a major write off of the fit out costs, technically the unpaid proportion of the lease, and any goodwill of the business just to start with. Maybe in some cases it is better to take the pain to come out the other side if there is light at the end of the tunnel, and not an oncoming train!

Shopping Centre Network Decisions For Franchises On Franchise Buyer

In summary, if you are looking at the closure of sites, you must also think about life after Covid-19 and where you want to be in 5 or 10 years with your brand. Maybe letting sites go in some Sub Regional or Regional shopping centres may not have much effect on your brand. 

However, closing stores in the likes of the Super Regional shopping centres may make it impossible to get back in at a later date, and maybe even have ramifications as far as the whole Group is concerned. In my view, it is hard to have a major brand without being in the likes of Chadstone, Castle Hill, Bondi Junction and Indooroopilly to say the least. Think about the long term plans, Strategic Network Planning, and not just the pain, assuming you, your brand and your franchisees can now survive the next 6 months.

Empty Shopping Centres In Covid 19 On Franchise Buyer Closed Major Shopping Centres From Covid 19 Franchise Buyer Closed Shopping Centres And Food Courst From Covid 19 Franchise Buyer Closed Shopping Centres From Covid 19 Franchise Buyer