On Thursday, April 19th, Joanne Podell, Executive Vice Chairman of Retail Services spoke at Commercial Observer’s 2nd Annual Retail Forum to share her insights on Manhattan’s retail market and the trends that currently influence landlords and tenants in New York’s competitive environment.
The panel, “The Leasing Report: What’s In Store for 2018?” was moderated by Jonathan Mechanic, Chairman, Real Estate Department of Fried Frank, and included Fred Posniak, Senior Vice President of Empire State Realty Trust, Inc., and Andrew McCaughan, VP of Development for Shake Shack along with Ms. Podell.
An evident theme throughout the panel was how technology has changed the world of retail and how businesses must adapt to keep up. Technology has impacted everything from the types of tenants looking for space to the ways retail properties are marketed, “Now there’s no paper – no more flyers or expensive presentations. It’s about getting your potential tenant the information they need in a new, creative way,” Joanne shared. Not only has technology changed the way deal transactions pan out, but it has also changed the types of tenants absorbing space.
Though many perceive technology’s influence as the cause of setbacks of traditional brick-and-mortar retail, Joanne argued that it’s the marriage of digital and traditional retail that drives success. This is exactly why the growth of e-commerce has created an influx new tenants, such as Bonobos or UnTuckit. Brands that began solely online are realizing the benefits and the necessity of also having brick-and-mortar retail locations, “Many new tenants are coming from e-commerce focused businesses, and this is driven by t
he expense of shipping and returns. We are seeing an evolution of retailers.”
Overall, it is expected that the retail market in New York is towards the end of its correction cycle and will pick up in the upcoming year. The panelists agreed with Ms. Podell when she answered her final question on the market, “In the main Manhattan retail corridors – Broadway, 3rd Avenue and 5th Avenue – I believe the absorption will come soon.”
To connect with Joanne Podell, click here.
For Commercial Observer’s recap of the event, click here.