Chris Constant, president and CEO of Getty Realty Corp. (NYSE: GTY), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2016: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge.
Getty owns, leases and finances convenience stores and gasoline stations in 23 states across the country and Washington, D.C.
Constant noted that Getty has made a “significant amount” of progress on repositioning its portfolio this year. Getty continues to reduce the number of transitional properties that it wants to lease, sell or redevelop, Constant said.
At the same time, Getty is expanding its tenant base and geographic reach, Constant said. The company is also active in redeveloping certain properties in attractive markets, he noted.
Turning to Getty’s convenience store operations, Constant pointed out that operators in this retail segment have had to adapt to changing consumer demands.
“Today, stores are part convenience, part quick-serve restaurant, part bank and part drug store,” he said.
Convenience store sales, excluding gas, are up about 6 percent annually during the last 10 years, while margins on convenience products are averaging about 35 percent, according to Constant.
Taking a broader look at the economy, Constant stressed that the outlook for the consumer looks promising.
“Miles driven are up, consumer spending is up, job growth is up and unemployment is stable. From our side of the fence, we feel pretty good about where the economy is heading,” he said.