Consumer expectations are changing retail real estate for the better. The future success for retailers is now dependent on investments in technology, data analytics, innovations and customer service.

southeast real estate businessAs the 30,000-plus ICSC RECon attendees can already attest, retail is not dead, it is in a renaissance. This renaissance is a transition for both the consumer and the merchant.

Consumer expectations for their favorite retail merchant have changed forever. Brick-and-mortar locations must complement digital channels seamlessly. Many of the category killers that have gone out of business are lost because of balance sheet issues, poor leadership and/or operational issues. So many of the stores that have closed have been a mercy killing. Stores aren’t just a place to buy things, people enjoy shopping when it involves discovering new products and experiencing something unique.

This has been the lost decade in spending for many retailers. Nearly 80 percent of consumers in America have had static or declining disposable income attributable to cost increases in four primary arenas: healthcare, food, education and housing. It certainly hasn’t helped that the U.S. retail square footage has grown by quadruple the population rate. Declining retail spending and more retail choices certainly hurt weak brands, thus store closures are an inevitable part of the renaissance.

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Emil Gullia

Principal, Retail Specialists

Contact Emil

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