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 Feature Industry Articles 
Tuesday, April 02 2019
Reframing Retail as a Community Asset, Not a Liability

By Alexandra Tranmer, Project Manager, Camoin Associates

The transformation of the retail industry continues into 2019. Beta-testing drone deliveries, cashier-less grocery stores and sampling new paint colors through augmented reality are just a few of the strategies that retailers are using to expand their market share and reach their coveted consumers. Yet, beyond using tactics like experiential retail and re-evaluating consumers’ purchasing preferences, retailers, and perhaps community builders at large, continue to grapple with how the right retail mix can be leveraged as a complementary asset to residents and other businesses. Although Credit Suisse predicted that 20-25 percdnt of U.S. malls will close between 2017-2022, the demand for retail as an amenity that contributes to the development and competitiveness of other markets is strong. While retail is certainly still a challenging sector for small business operators, chances for success are greatly improved when retail is integrated into the fabric of our commutes, daily lives and work patterns. This article will explore how retail is positioned as a critical component of development in large metro areas and smaller cities, and the role of the economic developer in coordinating the multi-disciplinary teams that are necessary to lay the groundwork for retail success. 

Yes, retail remains in a transformative state. Yes, eCommerce has redefined the public’s expectations of how and where they can purchase everyday goods. Ecommerce sales however only comprise about 10 percent of total retail sales. The 2018 3rd Quarter U.S. Retail Sales report from the U.S. Census reports that total retail sales reached $1,340.2 billion, an increase of 0.9 percent from the 2nd quarter of 2018.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:19 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Friday, March 23 2018
Not Your Grandparent's Shopping Center

A Look at Expansion, Disruption, Trends, Evolution, Innovation but not Extinction in Retail Development

By Shawn Massey, CCIM, CRX, CLS, ALC

Retail has constantly transformed and evolved from the first general store to a town square/main street format to the neighborhood strip center, to the first suburban shopping center in 1949, to the mall evolution that started in the early 1950’s, to the big box era of that began in the early 1980’s, to the lifestyle centers that followed shortly afterwards, to mixed-use projects providing a live, work and play experience that are prevalent today. We have really come full circle in retail development as we look back to the integrated residential, retail, play and work environments that existed from the turn of the century.  

We are not, by any stretch, facing a “Retail Apocalypse.” Restaurants are booming. Grocery anchored malls remain steady.  The trend toward transforming retail into “experiences” continues to drive customer traffic to an environment targeted to a variety of age groups and interests. “Omni Channel” platforms encompass eCommerce and a host of spaces, physical and virtual. And, as retailers refine inventories, distribution methods, and fulfillment models, the retail market will survive even prosper in fresh, new ways.  --  Peter C. Burley, CRE

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 08:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 28 2017
Retail's Real Estate Renaissance

By Hrishue Mahalaha, Managing Partner, Innovation Economy Partners; Jim Damicis, Senior Vice President and Alexandra Tranmer, Economic Development Specialist of Camoin Associates 

  Jim Damicis and Alex Tranmer of Camoin Associates, along with their colleague, Hrishue Mahalaha of Innovation Economy Partners, write this month about the evolving retail industry. Shopping malls have ruled the retail real estate market for the last two decades, but changing consumer preferences, technological advances and eCommerce have significant implications on real estate markets and economic development efforts in communities across the country. Retail stores, including restaurants and bars, are often the hub of the community, a communal commerce center where people come to buy goods, interact with other community members and support local businesses. Yet, there is news of establishments, large and small, going out of business appearing on an almost daily basis. What does this mean for the future of community’s who have relied on retail for economic activity in the past? 

  To answer this key question, we first consider why economic developers should consider a retail strategy as part of a wider economic development strategy. We will then explore the changing nature of retail, current trends and projections for the future. We will close with recommendations for how economic developers can mitigate some of the changes and work collaboratively within a changing retail landscape.

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 09:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 15 2016
ICSC's Tom McGee: The Evolution of Retail Real Estate

By Thomas McGee, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Council of Shopping Centers

The U.S. shopping center industry is at its strongest in years, due in part to an improving economic picture, especially as it pertains to consumer spending possibilities. This is seen through robust growth within the industry, which saw year-over-year indicators reach historically-strong growth rates by the end of 2015.

This past year saw an improved job market, rising consumer confidence, and healthy fundamentals. The U.S. National Home Price Index has also seen a nice uptick, gas prices have remained low for a sustained period of time, and wage growth is slowly increasing—leaving consumers with more discretionary income to spend.

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF) reported strong property data results for year-end 2015. Metrics across the board increased nicely:

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Tuesday, March 17 2015
Shopping Center Technological Innovation and Progress in 2015

By Mike Kercheval, President and CEO, International Council of Shopping Centers

2015 is slated to be an excellent year for the shopping center and retail industry. Not only are key U.S. metrics on the upswing, but shopping centers and retailers are continuously adapting to new trends and technologies that are making the consumer experience more efficient and enjoyable. Omni-channel solutions are allowing consumers to shop when, where and how they want, with the store remaining in its pivotal role, and shopping centers and retailers are adapting themselves to become experience centers that offer much more than just shopping.

Strong Industry Indicators
Although there is constant chatter about the growth of online retailing and its effect on brick-and-mortar stores, there is no evidence traditional retailers are losing out. According to the U.S. Census Bureau 94 percent of retail sales occur in-store and 87 percent of consumer purchases are made at the shopping center. Of course e-commerce sales are growing (at about five times the rate of in-store growth) but if you dive deeper, you can see that the amount of e-commerce sales growth is dwarfed by sales growth increases in stores. E-commerce grew by $38 billion in sales versus $144 billion in stores. 

Posted by: Nicole@ExpansionSolutionsMagazine.com AT 10:09 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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