The New Retail Success Strategy with Paul Lessner of JLL

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Our guest today is Paul Lessner, who is the Senior Vice President, National Shopping Centre Leasing at JLL. Starting his career in commercial banking, he later decided to follow his passion for real estate. He joined the JLL team this year.

Paul shares everything he’s seeing in retail recently, leading up to the busiest shopping season of the year. He tells us some of the surprising effects that the pandemic continues to have on retail locations, along with the impact that e-commerce is having on retailers.

Topics covered include:

  • How will this year’s busy shopping season compare to that of previous years?
  • Why it’s becoming more important to diversify the retail mix in malls.
  • Labour and other deterrents in the expansion plans of some retailers.
  • Grocery-anchored, “pandemic proof” retail being in fantastic shape.
  • If customers meandering around malls is a positive or negative.
  • Realizing that e-commerce is not the end of retail, but rather a complement.
  • Why Paul believes that the footprint of A-class malls is going to get bigger.
  • Collaborating with retailers to bring success for landlords and lenders.
  • Open-air versus enclosed malls in the United States and Canada.
  • Which malls have been benefitting from work-from-home and which have been suffering.

More about our guest…

As a seasoned advisor, Paul will lead the Retail Leasing business team and operations across JLL Canada, with a targeted focus on strategies, driving top revenue production, recruitment, engagement, business planning and coaching.

With over 15 years of upper management experience in retail leasing, Lessner brings to JLL a vast amount of knowledge and experience, having previously worked for the largest retail landlords in the country. He developed a unique skill set from working on a diverse portfolio of retail properties and projects, ranging from ground up development leasing to super regional shopping centres.

Lessner earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus on Political Science at Western University.

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