Published On Feb 28, 2017 in 
Areas of Expertise

What comes to mind when you picture the traditional landlord/tenant relationship? Maybe rent payments or property maintenance.  If you’re like most people, you probably consider the relationship between these two parties to be primarily a contractual one – rent for space. 

Phillips Edison & Company believes that the landlord/retailer relationship can – and should - be much more than that.  We believe that success in the retail real estate industry is most readily achieved when the retailer and the landlord work as partners.  The two rely heavily on each other and their ultimate goals are essentially the same – attract customers and sell product.

With this partnership focused management style in mind, Phillips Edison recently launched its National Accounts and Emerging Trends initiative.  I was excited to be asked to lead this newly assembled team devoted to growing the company’s retailer relationship base.  We have a three-tier approach:

  1. Existing Retailers. Senior Renewal Coordinators Laura Ritter, Dawn Trostle and Jessica Hall are focused on working with our current tenants of all sizes to find ways to maximize their success.  They are building on the partnerships that Phillips Edison already has in place.
  2.  National Tenants. Directors of National Accounts, Anne Benton (East Region) and Brian Landru (West Region), work with national retailers to expand on existing relationships and forge new ones with an eye toward how we can best pair our nationwide portfolio with these merchants who have – or would like to have - locations throughout the country.
  3. Emerging Trends. Emerging Trends Account Leader, Ashley Casey, researches, tracks and stays on top of emerging retail trends and seeks to establish relationships with new retailers. Stay up-to-date on retailers we’re watching by connecting with us on Instagram ( 

The National Accounts Team works as an extension of the Phillips Edison leasing team. We have set a goal of meeting face-to-face with at least 120 retailers this year. When my team schedules a retailer meeting, we reach out to the leasing group to provide a list of locations that would meet the retailers’ criteria and provide background information on any existing Phillips Edison locations. Our nationwide platform truly give us a competitive advantage, allowing us to present a variety of possible locations at each meeting and have in-depth conversations about how we can best work together to fill space at our properties with stores that will be highly successful.

Many of Phillips Edison’s peers have research teams and/or deal sourcing teams. However, I believe our unique approach, focusing on the partnership opportunities with the retailers, will give us a great advantage. It will allow us to better merchandize our centers, attract and retain retailers that will prosper in each location, and help our tenants realize the most possible traffic.

I’m excited to be leading this new initiative and I look forward to the many great things we will do and people we will meet in 2017! Please reach out to me or someone on my team if you’d like to explore a partnership opportunity with Phillips Edison.

Mike Conway
Mike Conway
Vice President of National Accounts & Retention