Retail REIT To Build Permanent Dedicated Takeout Space At 65 Properties

As the retail industry continues to struggle with the coronavirus in the short term, one retail REIT is preparing for long-term shifts in how people order food and shop for goods. Federal Realty Investment Trust is creating hundreds of dedicated curbside takeout spaces across its national retail portfolio that it says will be permanent fixtures beyond the pandemic.  The program, branded as The Pick-Up, allows customers to place an order and select a dedicated curbside space to receive their food without any person-to-person contact. Each property will have multiple Pick-Up areas in front of various retailers, and each area will feature about three dedicated spaces.  Clothing stores selling flock t-shirt printing designs and other soft goods retailers will also participate in the program, allowing customers to order products and pick them up without entering the store. The REIT is preparing to roll out the program at 65 properties in the coming weeks, with 35 of those scheduled to be completed by May 15.

At the 65 properties, it will have 328 pickup areas with 914 total Pick-Up spaces. Federal Realty Senior Vice President of Regional Leasing Stuart Biel said the company eventually aims to roll out the program at all of its 104 properties.  Federal Realty’s portfolio includes 3,000 tenants spanning 24M SF across the D.C., Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Silicon Valley and Los Angeles markets. Its major developments include Pike & Rose and Bethesda Row in Montgomery County, Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts, outside Boston, and Santana Row in San Jose, California.   It is not the only major retail owner rolling out a curbside takeout program. Kimco Realty launched a similar service at its Texas properties last week, starting with 60 parking spaces at Grand Parkway Marketplace in Spring, Texas, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers.  Biel said encouraging customers to pick up food benefits retailers because third-party delivery services take a cut of their profits.

Additionally, customers do not have to pay delivery fees for clothing and other items that they may otherwise have shipped to their house.  He said Federal Realty’s properties are well-positioned for takeout service because they are largely located in close-in suburbs near employment and population centers.  “We see it evolving as a long-term solution and another asset our retailers can have as a convenient way for customers to shop that helps also to solve a broader last-mile issue that has not been solved for many years,” Biel said. “By creating this framework, we think it’s a solution that helps our retailers become more profitable.” UPDATE, MAY 6, 10:30 A.M. ET: This story has been updated to reflect the inclusion of soft goods retailers as part of the program.