By James Chung, Executive Managing Director and West Region Retail’s New Managing Principal
I absolutely love attending ICSC functions because they remind me why I’m in this business. It’s a people business — and the face time and opportunity to shake hands and talk shop afforded by ICSC events like this week’s Western Conference are what help transactions ultimately close at the end of the day. Deals are accomplished when people trust each other, and ICSC events allow a really organic way for that trust to build over time. I leave every one of them more informed and better than when I walked in the door, and I know this year’s Western Conference will be no exception.
Despite the doomsday headlines and some general trepidation in the market, we couldn’t be busier. There’s no doubt that things are changing in the retail world. The impact of that evolution will be felt differently by everyone, but we’re thrilled to say that our Cushman & Wakefield team of industry-leading professionals continue to work with the most compelling, interesting tenants and landlords to execute some of commercial real estate’s most exciting deals.
From a trends perspective, operators continue to innovate and curate unique experiences for consumers which is being seen from the theater to the food and beverage segments. This movement is completely revolutionizing the retail landscape.
We’re also seeing considerable inventory flooding the market in the 25,000- to 50,000-square-foot range with bigger boxes right-sizing. Creative re-purposing is a new skill set being refined with each day as Landlords learn to either transition from mainstream retail to a more entertainment-focused anchor or pivoting outside of retail all together to uses like medical, residential and hospitality.
Change is the only constant in this brave new retail world, and brands are innovating like never before to remain competitive and to snag coveted market share. It’s thrilling to be part of the place-making that ultimately defines the state of the shopping center industry today, and I couldn’t be more excited to see my colleagues and clients in Los Angeles next week.
To view James Chung’s Video Interview from “Live at RECon 2017!” CLICK HERE.
James Chung is Executive Managing Director and West Region Retail’s New Managing Principal