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Development Opportunities After the Sears Bankruptcy Filing Part 1

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Now that Sears has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the corporate giant will be closing more than 140 locations nationwide. What remains, will be the husks of retail spaces that helped define American values and sensibilities throughout the 20th century. Throughout the country, developers will be looking to transform these abandoned stores into new businesses that can withstand the onslaught of digital retailers making it harder and harder for brick-and-mortar businesses to survive.

When a company the size of Sears files for bankruptcy, developers and contractors must collaborate to renovate old stores into new businesses, but buildings the size of Sears are only suitable for certain types of businesses. In this two-part series, our Knoxville contractor lawyers will discuss the best development opportunities for developers and contractors looking to takeover these defunct outlets.

Another Retail Outlet

If you’re looking to develop one of these locations without having to overhaul the entire structure, you should consider seeking contracts with other major retailers and former competitors of Sears. Sears stores are primed to be taken over by other major retailers like JCPenney, Dillard’s, Macy’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, and since the Sears bankruptcy is a result of outdated branding and a failure to compete online, these other, more successful retailers may be interested in opening a brand new store for a great price despite Sears’ inability to capitalize on the location.

Renovating a major retail outlet space for another brand is relatively simple. The space is already perfect for hosting an array of different products, so the majority of your work will involve building out department installations and directing paths for foot traffic. In many cases, there will be very few high-level construction tasks, but you may find yourself installing new walls, patching ceilings, or hiring a subcontractor to fix escalators.

Movie Theaters

Despite the prevalence and popularity of streaming applications like Netflix and Hulu, people still love going to the movie theater to see new movies, despite the exorbitant price of tickets, popcorn, and soda. In fact, countless records have been shattered in the last five years including those for All Time Domestic Box Office, All Time Animated Domestic Box Office, Biggest Domestic Opening Weekend Box Office, and Biggest Domestic February Weekend Box Office. The sheer size and scale of major retail outlets make them a potential location for the next great movie theater. Plus, movie theaters prefer structures with two-stories — a staple of Sears.

To learn more about development opportunities for contractors and developers in the wake of the Sears Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, read part two.

If you would like to speak with a Knoxville contractor lawyer, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.