What We Learned at ICSC RECon

Metro Commercial recently returned from a trip to Las Vegas to attend the International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC) RECon. The three-day convention provided the team with deal making opportunities, professional development workshops, networking and much more. Metro’s team was among 37,000 industry professionals that participated in sessions ranging from digitally native brands expanding into Brick and Mortar to preparing for the future of retail and mixed-use.

The team brought back some key takeaways and trends that they noticed during the convention:

The Future of Brick and Mortar: There was an overwhelming interest and curiosity about what the business will look like in the next few years, as online retail and brick and mortar shops are finding a comfortable rhythm to co-exist. Some say the industry is in flux and much of the traditionally built infrastructure is evolving with it. Brick and mortar spaces will survive but not without the elimination or repurposing of 30% of the existing inventory.

Transparency is Key: Landlords and tenants seem to be more transparent than ever. They’re working together on new deals, managing existing store portfolios and are more understanding of one another’s needs.

“Retail” is Changing: The market has shifted, which means owners and brokers need to think outside of the box to repurpose centers that include medical, housing, and assisted living, among others. Also, more mixed-use properties will continue to emerge and thrive in the next few years. The retail industry is changing but store growth will always occur as retailers begin to reinvent themselves.

Work-Live-Play: Landlords will continue to redevelop all of their properties with more amenities to accommodate a work-live-play lifestyle, including fitness, entertainment, grocery and restaurants. Landlords are willing to cut more attractive deals for users that provide this “halo effect” for the rest of their centers.

We Are Over-Developed: In an over-retailed America, Class A centers are staying Class A centers, while Class B and C centers are trying to catch up and transform. Non-traditional retail uses are taking over difficult spaces left behind, like shopping centers and malls.

If you also attended and have some insights to share, leave us a comment with what you learned below, or send us a tweet. We’d love to hear from you!

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