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Macerich (MAC) to House Fashion Retailer Zara at Queens Center

Amid the growing demand for its premium shopping centers, The Macerich Company MAC has announced that its popular Queens Center in New York City will welcome the sought-after European fashion retailer — Zara. The move is likely to draw more shoppers to this well-known retail destination, boding well for Macerich.

Following the announcement, shares of MAC gained 1% on Mar 2 regular trading session on the NYSE.

Zara, one of the largest fashion retailers worldwide, is expected to open a multi-level location.

Per F.K. Grunert, executive vice president, Leasing, Macerich, “Zara is a great complement to the strong roster of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences Queens Center delivers to residents and visitors in our vibrant borough.”

Macerich has a portfolio of premium assets in the United States, with a notable presence in California, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona and the Metro New York to Washington, DC corridor. These properties are located in densely populated areas, where affluent consumers with significant disposable incomes live and play, offering the company solid scope to generate decent cash flows.

Located in Elmhurst, New York, Queens Center — an urban shopping center — has emerged as one of the best-performing in the Macerich portfolio of high-quality properties. It features several top retailers, including abercrombie kids, Apple, Adidas, Footlocker, Macy's, Pandora, Sephora and Victoria's Secret, and restaurants like Chick-fil-A, Shake Shack and The Cheesecake Factory.

The increase in consumers’ preference for in-person shopping experiences following the pandemic downtime has been driving the recovery in the retail real estate industry. Retailers continue to rent out more physical store spaces to meet this growing demand.

As a result, retail REITs, including Macerich, are expected to experience a rise in leasing activity and pricing power, and flourish.

In 2022, the company signed 974 new and renewal leases for roughly 3.8 million square feet. Its portfolio occupancy improved year over year from 91.5% to 92.6% as of Dec 31, 2022.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock have rallied 28.6% over the past six months, outperforming the industry's increase of 4.8%.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research

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Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks from the retail REIT sector are Federal Realty Investment Trust FRT and Essential Properties Realty Trust EPRT, each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Federal Realty’s ongoing year’s FFO per share is pegged at $6.42.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for Essential Properties Realty’s 2023 FFO per share is pegged at $1.63.

Note: Anything related to earnings presented in this write-up represent funds from operations (FFO) — a widely used metric to gauge the performance of REITs.

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