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Mid-America Blog

Pizza is hot. Yogurt is cold.

In the world of small shop suburban retail, it seems that some concepts have stayed the test of time. However, others come and go as reliably as changes in the weather. Such is the nature of heightened levels of consumer choice and consumer trends.

After an explosion of different yogurt concepts hit the Midwest markets, most of which originated from warmer climates such as Florida and California, we are now seeing them drop out of shopping centers like flies, leaving expensive built-out vacancies and glum franchisees. Many of us in the industry will claim that we saw it coming. However, when these groups were inking deals in post-recession suburbia, they were a knight in shining armor for many strip center landlords, especially as most other concepts were shuttering or not expanding store count.

It seems that the newest food group making a charge in the Minnesota metro and trying to claim market share is fast casual pizza. Corporate and franchise groups such as Pizza Rev, Pieology, Pie5, Pizza Studio and Punch Pizza all come with a similar offering. Ask any representing broker to describe the concept and they will tell you with varying levels of self-belief, “It’s kind of like the Chipotle of pizza.” Again, I’m sure there will be some Darwinism with these concepts. Some will gain popularity and some will not quite make it. At least with the pizza concepts there tends to be more corporate backing so landlords will find some protection in the deeper pockets of their tenants.

However it plays out, it is always fun to work with new concepts and always sad to see some not succeed.           


Robert Wise | Retail Leasing Specialist
Mid-America Real Estate – Minnesota, LLC

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