mobile-close copy

AMC Theatre in Carbondale, IL with Stephanie Baldwin

Episode #: 056
AMC Theatre in Carbondale, IL with Stephanie Baldwin

Guest: Stephanie Baldwin
Topics: AMC Theatre, analytics


Chris Ressa 0:01
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris Ressa. And I invite you to join my conversation with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management.

I’d like to thank one of our sponsors, retail openings and In today’s dynamic retail landscape, tracking openings and closings before they take place has never been more important. Having this intelligence is an undeniable competitive advantage, retail openings and also known as Rock Tracks, future openings and future closings, comprehensive, accurate and reliable. The rock is your crystal ball and the key to making well informed decisions with confidence in today’s evolving retail climate.

Welcome to retail retold everyone. Today we have Stephanie Baldwin. Stephanie is the vice president of gold global real estate analysis at AMC theaters. She has been in the commercial real estate industry for 14 years. She’s based in Kansas City and excited to have her AMC as attendant in the DLC portfolio. And Stephanie is a rockstar. So welcome to the show, Stephanie.

Stephanie Baldwin 1:23
Thank you for having me, Chris, this is really exciting to be on your podcast and listen to many of them.

Ressa 1:27
So awesome. So Stephanie, why don’t you tell everybody for those who don’t know a little bit about you and who you are.

Baldwin 1:36
So, like you said, I’ve been in the real estate industry for about 14 years or so. My background I’ve lived in Kansas City all my life, which I it’s kind of crazy, but it’s been really nice. So right out of school got in financial sales, pharmaceutical sales, ventured into residential real estate, but Landon, the commercial real estate and have been there ever since I joined the AMC in about 2011. So I’ve been there for gosh, almost 910 years, joined them with their properties department but quickly realized, I joined them because it was right at the cusp of all the recliner renovations that were going on, and knew I could quickly transition over from properties to real estate and do all the deal making which is really what I really like to do. And then just kind of worked my way through the real estate piece of it and then kind of really, really was drawn to the analytical side. So my role now is I essentially helping supporting influencing and driving real estate transactions. You know, so you’re talking about new build opportunities, renovation lease restructures acquisitions, not only in the US, but also helping drive all these decisions across Europe, and even providing some console to the Saudi Arabian team. So it’s a really fun ride at AMC, for sure.

Ressa 2:58
How much of your work is dealing with the banners that you guys have overseas?

Baldwin 3:05
So most of my work, I am helping the real estate team well, so it depends on what, at what point in time. So pre COVID, obviously, we were helping identify the best growth catbacks opportunities because, you know, across Europe, it’s a very sleepy industry as it relates to renovations. So we quickly realized that we had some really great upside and first mover opportunities to renovate some theaters in the UK, Spain, Italy, in the Nordics. So I spent, I would say it was about 5050 for quite some time. And then moving into kind of what’s happening now. We’re really working on and helping driving some decisions on deferred rents and all those other things. So I would say 5050. It’s been like that for about two years.

Ressa 3:52
And are you in every country in Europe? 13 countries,

Baldwin 3:56
not every country, but certainly the UK, Spain, Italy. We’ve got about 85% market share across the Nordic countries. So we’ve got a really good I think that’s

Ressa 4:11
one of the more interesting things and when you mentioned some of your story, one of the things that I always tell people as a story and you probably even forgot you told me years ago is when you were AMC had purchased car Carmike.

And there was people who

were, you know, given new opportunities in different roles at the time and doing things and you had to sell a corporate


Baldwin 4:41
So part of my role was I was really no I interviewed for the opportunity. It was just a really great way to be involved with some, you know, big decisions. So I was part of the karmic transition team. And my role was and I did this while it was very pregnant with my third child. In fact, they called my baby Karl for a really long time. So I was part of the transition group. So putting all the groups together to across the organization to meet with their counterparts in Carmike to make sure we had a smooth transition that relates to processes, roles, responsibilities. And then at the end, I was part of the divestiture group. So the DOJ required AMC to divest of a certain number of theaters because of antitrust, which is very common when you have m&a activities. So we had 17 or so theaters way to divest. But we also had some other things that we had to create synergies with, that we didn’t really need. And that was their corporate offices in Columbus, Georgia, but also a corporate jet. So I was tasked with I’ve never done this before, is the jet and so I obviously utilized a lot of third parties to help Well, you have to for FAA regulations, but it was really interesting to go through that process very divergent from what my normal responsive. Yeah, that’s

Ressa 5:59
a really cool opportunity. I remember you telling me the one thing that like, should have known but mates didn’t, you know, really probably didn’t think of is people have to test drive these corporate jets. And you had to set up like test drives for these people or work with the third party brokers or third party groups.

Baldwin 6:18
It’s interesting. I remember one party One person wrote on it was like, This is too loud, or I was just like, what? So yeah, it was an interesting piece, you know, as your journey goes through in organization, I’m sure you have stories that are similar.

Ressa 6:33
Well, I don’t I haven’t sold any jets. But that’s one that stuck with me. So, you know, pivoting a little bit what, you know, you’re at AMC theaters, Juggernaut in the theater, entertainment industry. What’s going on with theater said a lot, a lot of noise out there about what’s going on in the theater industry today. What’s what’s what’s your take on what’s going on out there? Yeah, so

Baldwin 7:00
I mean, it’s, it’s really, it’s wild. You know, we came off of, you know, if I go if I had to go back in time, you know, in 2018, we had a record breaking year of box office gross, you know, 11, almost 12 million, a billion dollars of North American box office gross in 2019, was down about 4%. And we walked in, you know, planning for 2020, to be a little bit less than 2019. A lot of that has to do is, you know, we’re planning for content. And we had gotten the news that, that James Cameron moved to Avatar out of 2020 to 2021. So we’re always thinking about, you know, we’re always planning on the content piece of it. So, you know, when people you know, think about the industry, we were having a lot of fun it was there’s a ton of what you know, to see out there lots of content. Who would have predicted this predicament that we’re in right now, there’s just no way you can plan for this. Right? And we’re, we’re, we’re very, we’re an interesting industry, that’s very dependent on studio content. And I don’t think that’s anything new news to anybody that’s out there. We need the studios to give us the content. So walking into 2020, we, you know, the year started off a little slow, and then all of a sudden, you know, the pandemic hit. So we were closed be the government regulations, which is, you know, what, that’s just kind of how this how it’s dealing, but then the studios started pushing all the content. So when you look at our industry, everything pre where we’re sitting right now, was was was was fine. And I think that AMC certainly the way that we looked at the businesses, you know, the guest experience was the most important. We were the first ones to the table on a multitude of things from an innovation standpoint. If you look back in history, the multiplex the megaplex cupholders and chairs, stadium seating, recliners,

Ressa 8:57
cupholders and chairs was AMC

Baldwin 8:59
names the thing? Yep. Wow. Yeah. So you know, that’s, that’s kind of been AMCs DNA is we’re innovative. And that’s just something that really drew me to the company is we’ve got a lot of smart people that think about what’s what’s coming up next. And the recliners was a revolutionary thing, in my opinion. And we got there first, we were about four years ahead of our competitors. So, you know, you ask the question, what’s going on with our industry? Lots of change. I think for the good, you know, as every business needs to be thinking about is pivoting to to what’s going on in the world today. I mean, studios are thinking about digital content, because that’s where people are gravitating. Now. It’s a little unfair, because people can’t leave their home and go enjoy our movie theaters. Right now. And that’s, you know, that that’s something we can’t specifically control. We are opening actually over 100 theaters in two days. Wow, good luck. Yeah. So and Whether AMC safe and clean, you know, we’re taking significant measures to make sure that our guests feel comfortable coming back. And our first day, we’ve, we’ve pretty much sold out many of our theaters at the 20% capacity that we’re trying to be social distancing. And we are celebrating our 100 year anniversary this year. And that sounds crazy, especially in today’s time, but we’ve offered a one day only 15 cent ticket price. And it’s, you know, everything’s being done online. So you reserve your ticket, and we’ve sold out a lot of theaters. So I think it’s just kind of intimating that people really want to get back to see a movie. And by the way, these movies aren’t new movies, these are Goonies, it’s, you know, Star Wars, it’s nostalgic type movies, and I think it just kind of says that people want to get back into the social dynamics safely, of course, and we’re providing that safe environment for them. So we’re just helping people want to come back to see a movie. And you know, we’ve got new movies coming out next month. So we’ve got a tenant coming out. And then a lot of new releases that are going to be coming out, but it’s gonna be a little quiet, because the studios have had to shut down to, so they can’t make their content. So it’s going to be, you know, an interesting, I think,

Ressa 11:20
year and a half. That’s why you have to

play Goonies and nostalgic movies, because there’s not a lot of new movies ready to be shown right now. Right?

Baldwin 11:31
Right, exactly. So a lot of the studios have pushed their releases into next year. And you know, it’s because they want the theatrical exhibition, right. And they want to be able to know that key markets like Los Angeles and New York, and Chicago and all these big dma’s are open, and they can safely bring people back to see the movies that they’re so proud

Ressa 11:54
to show. There’s been

so much headline news around theaters over the last, you know, through the pandemic over the last few months, and some calling for like, you know, massive closures isn’t the end of the theater business, all this stuff that you know, I don’t believe, you know,

for those who

are just reading a, you know, a clip that read some scary headline, what what do we what do we say to that person about what’s really going on and what the future of theatres look like?

Baldwin 12:32
Yeah, so I really think that a lot of it is just knowledge about what the industry is all about. Right? So the studio’s make movies to be shown in the theatrical exhibition, that’s where they make the most robust amount of their, their their dollars. You know, you hear about, you know, trolls going straight to pod and universal saying we made a ton of money off of it in a short amount of time. Well, have they shown it in the theatrical exhibition? I think the Trolls movie, the prior one in 2016, made like $350 million worldwide. And they do share some of that with us. So to think that they missed out on those dollars, in addition to the, to the digital component, is that’s a big loss. Yeah. So I just want to look at and think about, I think what’s going to change in you know, when I look at the data, you know, you’re going to see maybe a more art movie or something that would be like a, b, or c title that would only make like 10 million over the weekend. Maybe those are the movies that go to your home first, or go to the movies, but then go to the home quickly. But you know, when you think about Avengers, or these tentpole movies, or Fast and Furious nine people, there’s just you know, the general movie going, person that goes a lot wants to see it in the movie theater, and experience, you know, have their popcorn, have their Coke, and be in an environment where they can share that experience with other people. You know, I’ve been watching a lot of you know, LinkedIn and Facebook. And I mean, people I talk to her, it’s like, can’t wait to go see a movie. I can’t wait to see and go into that environment. I think there’s just a certain just kind of your American backbone. Like I remember going to the movies when you were a little kid that was just, I remember my first movie, it was, you know, et when I was six years old, and just sitting there watching this on a big screen and being outside your house. And you know, it was an event, right? It’s a date night. It’s a teenage experience. So whatever it may be,

Ressa 14:45
yeah, one of the things I think it was a year ago, you had come near the DLC offices and done a presentation

for our executive team. And I think one of the things that hit home for me was How you were looking at

competition and you were looking at it not just theaters, but you were looking at any family entertainment gathering, and the affordability of going to the movies versus going to the Royals game or going to the Chiefs game in Kansas City or an amusement park. And I had never looked at it like that. And I think I think there’s a lot of truth to that. And, you know, we’re here working from home. And I know, and my family were constantly seeking family entertainment things. So I think the the movies are an unbelievable family entertainment venue, and I think they will come back even though right now might be challenging. So no, I

Baldwin 15:47
appreciate that. I think that it’s so true. And you’re right, it’s when you look at the options that you have outside your home, from an entertainment standpoint, it certainly is, you know, I get it, you know, the concessions are expensive, or whatever you wanted to call it, but it’s not when you think about in general your cost of going with your family versus going to your your right Royals game, you know, chiefs game, or, you know, or even you know, any other entertainment piece of it is certainly is a very cost effective, and then you’re kind of taken away to, you know, if you’re watching, you know, whatever movie genre, you’re kind of taken away for two to three hours away totally outside of it. So and you get to enjoy that with other people. And no, you’re right, it is it is certainly, I think, a form of entertainment that’s not going away. We’re just gonna have to think of it differently. And I think we’ve got a lot of like I said, smart people, AMC of thinking ahead, leadership and what’s next. So we’ll make sure that we continue to give our customers the best experience that they can get.

Ressa 16:50
Awesome. Last thing I know, recently, there was some headline news around the fact that studios can open their own theaters now.

Baldwin 17:01
Right? So what’s what’s that

Ressa 17:03
all about?

Baldwin 17:05
So way back, if you go back in history, you look to the 1920s. And that era, most of the studios actually operated their movie theaters. And like Lowe’s, for example, that was a studio, they owned their own theaters. In fact, we acquired them. Yeah. So if you go back in time, what happened was, the DOJ determined that they felt that that was a price fixing that, that basically, those studios would block out any other movies that could come to that particular that particular place that that theater, so they created a situation to divide those. And that often happens within a lot of different retail situations. So that carried on for a very long time. So all of these studios had to divest and sell their theaters to different organizations. So fast forward to today, the DOJ decided that they wanted to pull that apart because that the amount of content that’s out there being produced is very, very vast. And I don’t have specific reasons why they decided I guess that’s just I think that they were just thinking that their support this part. Um, so I what I think is interesting is if you look about if you look at, you know, a Netflix that’s creating a ton of content, I mean, you know, they’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars on content. They’ve also got a different avenue, an omni channel, if you will, to bring that to right. So they’ve got their own streaming service. It’ll be I don’t think I mean, this is just my complete opinion, that you’re going to see a Netflix buy an AMC or bought, you know, because it’s going to take time for them to get, you know, across board. So it was a big ruling. But it’ll be interesting to see where that goes.

Ressa 19:01
Fair enough. Not cheap, not a cheap endeavor to get into either.

Baldwin 19:05
Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s the whole it’s the brick and mortar question. You know, you know, how expensive is going to be two from an acquisition standpoint? Yeah.

Ressa 19:18
All right. Well, listen, that was a awesome update on what’s really going on in the real estate of the movie business and theater business. I want to take everybody to I think it’s an interesting story of AMC theaters in Carbondale, Illinois, which we worked on a deal there that and a pretty successful test case for AMC. And why don’t you tell us about that, and how that evolved?

Baldwin 19:49
Yeah, so we were pretty well into our renovation cycle. And what what happened was when we were first coming out of the gates as a relates to these first mover renovations. We were really focused on our big high tier markets. So you’d look to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and we’re spending a lot of money in those areas. And we were doing these like full circle 360 degree renovation spending. It’s very expensive to renovate these theaters. I mean, you’re talking like 500,000 a screen, because you’ve got upgrades on the seats, but you’ve got upgrades outside that space. So it was a very, you know, we’re focused on that. And I remember, we were coming up on this particular locations, lease expiration. And I think that, if I recall, you and I discussing kind of there was not a lot of theaters that you had in your portfolio. I want to say it was just a couple. Yeah, yeah. And the interesting thing about AMC, so AMC really is born and bred not only you know, we’ve built a lot of theaters, but we also have acquired a lot of theaters across the United States to get to the size that we are. So this was a, a legacy carousel dislocation, we actually built up our Chicago market share, or surrounding Chicago, Illinois, and smaller markets through the care. So this acquisition, so we had this theater, but we also had a theater across the street, literally across the street. And then we also had a theater, I would say about 2025 minutes drive time from so it was kind of this three theater market, which was very interesting considering the population. So Karason has had kind of this unique thing where they would build across and I don’t know whether it was they were trying to protect their market share and keep people from coming in. But certainly they did this quite often within many markets, especially small markets. So you and I started talking about the lease expiration that was coming up. And I think a light bulb went off. And I said, Well, what if we did a long term extension, and we put recliners in. And it was completely like, I had to convince everybody, from a leadership standpoint that we were going to spend money in Carbondale, Illinois to upgrade this theater. I just said, I think that there’s something there. And I think that we also, I really got the impression that DLC was going to be a wonderful partner in this. And I think you and I had some tons of conversations. I was very open and honest about, you know, the productivity that we’ve seen out of our other recliners. And I really thought that there was something here. And it was really a matter of understanding the you know, what was going to happen, I had to demonstrate that, you know, you know, what’s going on across the street, what’s going on here? What’s better location, what’s the better partner to move forward with? And I, we figured out quickly, it was, as you guys. Um, and so one of the things that was a struggle was, you know, being very, very deliberate on understanding how much money we’re going to spend. And so I worked very closely with my design department, my construction department to say, what drives the business, what’s driving the customers to this theater? If we were, if we renovate it, it’s going to be the seats, the seats, people care about the seats. So if I had to do an inside out approach, how do we really focus on the dollars that we want to spend, and how can we maximize this particular deal and get it across board? So I said, Okay, how much does the auditorium cost? And we did that. Then I said, Okay, so if I had to give you an allowance outside that space, how can we maximize that to make sure this looks beautiful, it looks good, it looks inviting? People are excited about it. And we just waited a little bit a little little, and we did a lot of different types of ideas than what we had been doing. And came up with a number flew by you, you and I came up with a rental structure that made sense. And it was you know, a lot of tugging and pulling and you know, and creativity. And this was the first thing for you guys to you’re like, you’re taking out 60% of the seats. This is crazy. Yeah. And we did it and it was just a relief. And one of the things I you know, we ended up renovating it to great level of success. I think that we were I know I was really impressed with your team’s ability to occupy the rest of the center. You guys came in acquired, filled some empty boxes. We were kind of the other anchor on your side. It just all was cohesive and just be nailed it. I mean, location Um, we increased our tenants by 100%. And I would say, Now I will, kind of asterik that was we did cannibalize some of the, some of the attendance from across the street. But I factored that in already. We ended up closing that location. And it’s just as been kind of the story that people talk about at our office to about that, well, it’s an, it was the ability to be creative in a situation that you wouldn’t normally think was was a, you know, it’s just an opportunistic situation. And it took a lot of creativity on our perfect your part two and demonstrated a really great relationship building situation between a landlord and a tenant.

Ressa 25:50
Yeah, that’s awesome story. It’s, it’s one of my favorites. There’s a lot to unpack there. So, one of the things I think, you know, Carbondale, Illinois, Southern Illinois University is there, but when you just look at a demographic, it’s, it’s, it’s not densely populated, like other markets. And you had mentioned you went to leadership that you were going to spend a lot of money in Carbondale, Illinois, and I guess that’s when you have a CapEx budget, you’re deploying it into markets where you think you’re gonna get the greatest return. And typically, there’s some, you know, larger M essays and things like that, and the Carbondale is of Illinois in the processor, much later on in the process, when you’re going through a whole fleet renovation. And you had mentioned, you had to convince a lot of people, when you were going through that process, how much resistance did you come across?

Baldwin 26:51
Um, I think is not a ton. I will say, because I think that it was we had to figure out for these smaller markets, what to do, you know, do you just toss them away? What do you, you know, what do you do in these markets? So I kind of built it as this total, comprehensive, you know, focus is that, hey, we’ve got a lot of theaters that are out in these small markets, you know, and they serve this population is like, that’s their only, you know, location that they go to. And if we can look at, let’s talk about visit visits per year, if they’re only going one, whatever, per year, two per year, how can I do you think that if I give them a better seat, a better situation a location to go to? Could I get them to maybe three times a year, maybe even two and a half? If I can get them to go to two and a half times per year? There’s your upside. Right. And not only that, but knowing that the cost of my occupancy, the occupancy costs are so far less than if you’re talking about New York. Sure. So when you’re looking at that value proposition, I made the case overall so I took all of our small market locations, and I said, if I can look at this from a from a larger scope standpoint, and if I can replicate what we did, you know, or what we can do in Carbondale, this sets up a much bigger program. We were able to take that and replicate it to a great deal of success in a lot of small markets. And I know when we acquired Carmike Carmike was a small hometown theory. Yeah. And so I took Carbondale and I said, if you’re going to buy Carmike, I can identify this many locations, that I can use these results in this information and apply the same and this is what could yield out of it because the occupancy costs

Ressa 28:58
are so low. Yeah, that’s, that’s fantastic. I love that Carbondale was a test for all the small markets. That’s awesome.

Baldwin 29:04
I mean, the key really is I will I will, you know, being first to market is also very important important, right? Especially in the small markets for sure. That’s just what you know, it’s just behavior people will go there first and they’ll Bypass will drive past

Ressa 29:21
Yeah, competitor. And when you’re doing these designs of some all the you know, whether it’s the large MSA is a small market. You know, you had mentioned you were getting very creative in the space and trying to InDesign you know, I

think that people think that

out there that it’s just cookie cutter across every location for national retailer or something or all of these bespoke because they’re all shaped and designed differently when you inherit them.

Baldwin 29:54
They are, you know, it goes down to you know, a lot of these theaters that we are trying to renovate, are 20 years old, or 15 years old. And it is, you know, I mean, it’s very expensive to build a new theater, just the technology involved and just the sheer just foundation of building a theaters, it’s it’s a very expensive endeavor. So you’re right, it’s not cookie cutter, I would say that even auditorium, the auditorium. So we have some, like, for instance, at Carbondale, that was a sloped floor here. So we had not renovated that theater to a stadium theater. And actually we put the recliners on the slope so we could get more chairs. So we, you know, thinking about creative design aspects, it’s less expensive to do it that way. And you still have a great sideline, you know, So little things like that we’ll be thinking about, you know, for for Carbondale, and I used to keep going back to that is that we were thinking about different ways not to cut corners, but certainly be thinking about mindful of the costs. So we were doing, you know, these lavish displays of, you know, big murals and, you know, digital this digital that or whatever the circumstances, so we kind of pulled back from that a little bit, because we felt like, let’s just see how the customer behaves. I mean, do they really care about that big mural or whatever? The you know, visual aspects are? So yeah, every every one of them is different. But the key, like I mentioned before, is the seats, we’ve got to have a good see. And that’s what people really are going to pay. They’re gonna vote for their dollars for the seat.

Ressa 31:36
And, and so let’s stay there. And when you do these renovations, most times, attendance and sales rise in these locations. That’s what, that’s what the catalysts for deploying all these cap all this capital to these were right.

Baldwin 31:51
Oh, absolutely. You know, but I will say that there’s been an evolution. And you can imagine from when when AMC first started, it was a lot of cannibalization. So we were pulling from other lackluster theater experiences into our theater. But we were also growing. So like I said, we were people were going more than one or two times a year because they liked the experience. And they didn’t really care what movie was showing. People were migrating from the weekends where we see most of our business to the weekdays. So it was just this phenomenon that was amazing to see. And you know, but now you move into where everybody’s we’re clients. I don’t think anybody is going to build a theater without recliners. So now, it’s a lot more of let’s be thinking about what’s the food and beverage proposition? Do we have an opportunity to have different pricing mechanisms in place where there’s more demand? So there’s some alternative type things that we’re thinking about to continue to grow

Ressa 32:53
the business? Interesting. And the last thing you do, when you were thinking about deploying capital into Carbondale was the was the thought that you were probably just going to deploy capital in the one of the three theaters that were surrounding. Absolutely, yeah,

Baldwin 33:17
we would not have eaten. So it was a very careful proposition. When I put my term sheet in front, my real estate committee, it was very deliberate in describing what was going to happen within the trade area or zone, if you will, and everything that I predicted was correct.

Ressa 33:37
Awesome. That’s great.

Baldwin 33:39
But you know, it’s one of those things that, you know, it definitely was helpful. And we look at that now. I mean, we really need to be thinking about trade areas holistically, because we have many theaters that are within close proximity. And they may or may not so different trade areas, and we’re no different than any other retailer about thinking about cannibalization. You know, what is the store offer that’s different than this store? Do we do a dine in here? Do we do recliners here? What’s the customer offering? So as you know, from my job, what I now you know, I’m going into each of these trade areas and trying to define them, understand them and look at customer behaviors and, and quantify what would what would yield success.

Ressa 34:24
The last thing is I unpacked this and I think it is a lesson if you know, the relationship between landlord and tenant. I mean, if we couldn’t have if we didn’t have developed that I don’t think this would have gotten done because you have to be able to understand everybody, you know, understand each other’s businesses, what matters to everybody and try to put your heads together to be creative together. You know, sometimes there’s a the landlord goes behind closed doors and the tenant goes behind closed doors, and sometimes that that leads to no deal because there’s a lack of transparency when people are transparent, and we, you know, we really learn about the other side, and we can, you know, see what’s important to the other side. And we can foster that relationship and a true partnership. You know, I think that’s when awesome deals get done. So thank you to you for that. Well, I completely, you know, I

Baldwin 35:20
remember when we were talking, we’ve obviously, you know, have been collaborating over the years. But one of the things I always ask my landlords, and I don’t know if it’s silly or not to ask them, like, when you walk into that, so we don’t have a real estate committee that I walk into, but many landlords and, and tenants do. But I always say, you know, what do you need to get this across? Let’s just step back for a second. And when you walk into that room, I want to help help you get a nod. Yes, yeah. Thumbs up. And so, you know, you’re older than I do, like, what’s the what’s the tugging point? Like? What’s the point? Like, what what do you need? You know, do you need an out parcel development? Do you need this? Do you need this? And then I, then the question gets asked back to me, Well, what do you need? And so that’s how good deals get done is just talking about, you know, collaborating, being a good listener? Understanding what both parties need, and sometimes it’s not outlandish. And it’s yeah, about dollars. Yeah, about rights, or you need to massage this thing over here. And I need this and, you know, can you get rid of this? It’s sometimes just bury? What’s the long range plan? If I’m gonna be, if I’m gonna be hanging out with you for 10 to 18 years? What does that look like?

Ressa 36:46
That’s a, that’s a great point.

The relationship matter? Because the leases are long, and it’s going to be a long term relationship. So better figure out how to make it a good one. Well, listen, that’s an awesome story. I’m a little bias. But you know, just understanding how you navigated the corporate dynamic, how you analyze the site, how you are the negotiation when in the relationship side, so really appreciate you coming on and talking about that. Stephanie?

The last piece of our show, listen before is retail wisdom. So I have three questions for you. You Ready? Ready. All right. One, what is your best piece of commercial real estate advice?

Baldwin 37:33
So I think we touched on it. Um, be transparent, be honest. Empathize with the person that’s on the other side of the of the discussion. You know, I’ve learned that, you know, playing hardball is doesn’t really get you very far. And I’m always thinking about what’s our next negotiation? Yeah. So you know, I’m thinking about, okay, we’re talking on the phone now, but we’re probably going to be talking on the phone, hopefully, on the next deal. And I don’t want anybody on the other side to think, gosh, now I gotta pick up the phone and call Stephanie. Why don’t you want it to be a phone call? That’s your or whatever in person meeting that’s going to be Hey, you remember that deal? We just can’t you know, let’s do it again. Yeah.

Ressa 38:14
And I think we’ve done that. So.

Baldwin 38:17
And in you know, that that’s important to me is just building the relationships. And, you know, just following through on what you’re saying and being being collaborative and honest and transparent. I think that’s what that’s just the key part. I would tell anybody getting into the business to focus on that.

Ressa 38:37
Awesome sage advice. All right. Next question. fan favorite. What extinct retailer Do you wish would come back from the dead? So you’re

Baldwin 38:46
gonna laugh but I remember just when I was a kid and going to like a Toys R Us store. We’re just going to a toy store. And I remember and it seems like so long ago. You know, going to ICSC in New York this past December and walking into an FAO Schwarz star or store. Yep. It was just me and my husband. I wasn’t with my kids. It’s just so much fun. It’s magic. So I miss all those toy stores has kind of gone extinct, I think.

Ressa 39:15
Yeah. Well, last question. Speaking of toys, okay. You have two daughters. I have a daughter. I am on Mattel’s website right now. Okay. I’m looking at the Barbie Dream House. What does the Barbie Dream House retail for these days? Stephanie. So I’m gonna guess 129 99 199 99

Oh, you are your kids out of Barbies. I think Coronavirus yeah my minor in so my daughter’s in so um

Baldwin 40:00
Yeah, that dropped 200 bucks to get a Barbie Dreamhouse for your daughter.

Ressa 40:03
That’s it. Well, listen, Stephanie, this

was great. I really appreciate it. Thanks so much for coming on. And thank you.

Baldwin 40:15
Thanks, Chris, so much for having me.

Ressa 40:20
Thank you for listening to retail retold. If you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal that you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us at retail retold at DLC This show highlights the stories behind the deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you are a retailer, broker, entrepreneur, architect or an attorney. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode

Read Transcript

Never Miss an Episode!

Join the newsletter and get access to bonus content and exclusive updates


Newest DLC white paper


access exclusive retail reports