Retail: The Perfect Buy For Christmas

A Second Life for Retail Space

Miller Value Partners — the firm headed by famed mutual fund manager Bill Miller — is betting heavily on the mall retail sector as well. The fund bought stakes in two mall-based REITs, Washington Prime Group (NYSE: WPG) and CBL Properties (NYSE: CBL) in recent months.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has also been buying into the retail real-estate sector with stakes in Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE: SRG) — redeveloping dead Sears store properties — and STORE Capital (Nasdaq: STOR).

It’s the same story for hedge fund manager Paul Singer (Elliott Management Corp.), who — as Bloomberg noted yesterday — has “amassed a position in mall owner Taubman Centers (NYSE: TCO) and plans to push for changes at the company including a potential sale.”

There’s no arguing that the U.S. is “over-malled.”

Amazon has, of course, played a huge role in the downfall of many malls as once ubiquitous retail store chains shutter stores or declare bankruptcy.

But when asset prices fall to cheap enough levels, bargain hunters come calling — and that’s exactly what’s starting to happen in the mall REIT sector.

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