Frieze: Omni-channel or opti-channel?


Date May 28, 2019

By Al Urbanski | Originally published in Chain Store Age

Why was Gordon Brothers CEO Ken Frieze holding forth at JLL’s booth at RECon last week? He was trying to get every retail executive he could find as enthused as he is about the new alliance between the two companies.

“The impetus behind us joining forces is to offer retailers a more comprehensive solution to adjusting the sizes of their businesses,” Frieze said. “What we’re selling is opti-channel, not omni-channel. The idea is to consider all options that can optimize your presence both online and in centers.”

Both companies have global clienteles, and while JLL is known for providing a bevy of services including asset management and landlord and tenant representation, Gordon Brothers is primarily known as a store liquidator. Frieze holds the company is much more than that, and helps right-sizing retailers quickly terminate and re-negotiate leases.

But, to be sure, Gordon Brothers’ long experience in liquidation, growth and capital solutions is helping JLL bring big projects to quicker conclusions.

“We recently worked with JLL with a retailer that wanted to realize almost $100 million on store sales, lease restructuring and sale of fixtures,” Frieze said. “We were able to guarantee them $50 million and they accepted it and were able to immediately take the write-off for the current quarter.”

Together, Gordon and JLL employ nearly 90,000 real estate professionals in more than 80 countries and generate $18 billion in transactional revenue each year.

Frieze countered the notion that Gordon Brothers’ business is purely domestic. “We do 40% of our business outside of the United States,” he said.