Jon Wheeler, chairman and CEO of Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust, Inc. (NASDAQ: WHLR), joined REIT.com for a CEO Spotlight video interview at REITWorld 2015: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Wheeler noted that Nov. 19, 2015, marked the third-year anniversary of the company becoming a publicly traded REIT. “Since then we’ve grown exceptionally well,” he said.
In the third quarter alone, the company bought 11 assets for $86 million. The properties were located in Wheeler’s core base of secondary and tertiary markets in the United States.
Wheeler likened the acquisitions market to a pool. One quadrant of the pool contains Wheeler’s competitors, who are looking in core and core-plus geographic markets. Wheeler Real Estate operates in the other three quadrants, he said. Wheeler added that the company is seeing fewer competitors in the company’s target markets than previously.
Meanwhile, Wheeler said the company’s focus on grocery-anchored shopping centers in secondary and tertiary markets has largely shielded it from the competitive impact of e-commerce.
“What we do is necessity and service retail, and you still have to patronize the shopping center,” he noted.