Brookfield launched a retail revitalization program, which likely won’t solve the problems of retailers and malls alike

WHAT HAPPENED: The asset management company will spend $5 billion to save struggling retailers impacted by COVID-19. Brookfield said it will focus on funding retailers that had revenues of at least $250 million pre-COVID-19 and have been in business for at least two years.

WHY IT MATTERS

Brookfield’s initiative will help medium-sized retailers get back on their feet after COVID-19, but it won’t transform their antiquated business models. This program is the property group’s latest attempt to bail out its struggling tenants after purchasing Aéropostale in 2016 and acquiring Forever 21 earlier this year. The property-management firm fears a decrease in foot traffic and widespread vacancies, but continuing to pour money into companies that weren’t healthy prior to the pandemic won’t solve their or the mall’s long-term problems. The mall owners should be using this time and money to creatively solve for the vacancies in its over 300 properties and the difficulties that the mall industry faced prior to the pandemic, which haven’t disappeared.