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Reforming the retail sector, one brick at a time

The rise of e-commerce and changing socioeconomic characteristics in many cities has resulted in rising rates of retail vacancies. William Bunting investigated how municipal legislation could work to minimize these challenges in the retail sector.

Bunting believes that current government reforms, such as vacant property tax and rent control might help reduce vacancy rates, they do so at the expense of effectively matching landlords and tenants. 

But rather than mandate such coercive reforms, his research suggests that government-implemented, “nudge-based” policies may be effective. Bunting believes municipalities should encourage landlords to adopt alternate systems of rent, such as profit-sharing models, with retailers to help reduce storefront vacancies.