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$70 billion in leases set to expire

September 30, 2014

U.S. retail chains have about $70 billion in lease obligations set to expire over the next four years. This opens up opportunities for landlords to move in more-profitable tenants and for retailers to adjust their portfolios, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Moody’s studied 62 public chains and found that the $203 billion in lease obligations on their balance sheets would drop to $133 billion by 2018 as leases expire. Office-supply chains have the fastest rate of lease expirations coming up relative to other sectors, while drugstores have the fewest, according to the report. Sears Holdings’ minimum lease obligations will fall by 58 percent to $2.3 billion in 2018, from $5.5 billion this year.