Shopping Center REIT Wheeler Improving Capital Structure, CEO Says

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 2016: NAREIT’s Annual Convention for All Things REIT at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge.

Wheeler commented that acquisitions were a driving force behind the company’s third quarter performance. Other contributing factors included a reduction in general and administrative expenses and increased streamlining of operations.

The company has also been busy improving its capital structure, according to Wheeler. “As small as we are, we’ve utilized every tool you can imagine,” he said.

One of the main priorities now is to raise the company’s stock price, Wheeler observed.

Meanwhile, Wheeler said the REIT’s retail tenants are expanding and same-store sales are trending upward, especially for grocery stores. Grocery chains, including Wegmans and Publix, are expanding their geographic base, Wheeler said. At the same time, German retailers Lidl and ALDI are entering the U.S. market, he added.

“Retail is in a good spot right now,” Wheeler said.