ICSC: The Pre-em­i­nent Voice of Retail Real Estate

In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Shop­ping Cen­ters:

Shopping Center News - - CONTENTS - – By Shop­ping Cen­tre News Bureau

Ex­pe­ri­en­tial retail, rein­ven­tion of shop­ping cen­ters, in-store and mall ex­pe­ri­ences were widely dis­cussed, and the ICSC in­vited retail-tech and prop­erty-tech star­tups to give pre­sen­ta­tions on ways to re­vive brick-and-mor­tar retail…

The In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of Shop­ping Cen­ters’ (ICSC) an­nual RE­Con con­ven­tion for retail real estate pro­fes­sion­als took place in Las Ve­gas in May 2018. The con­ven­tion bills it­self as the world’s largest global gath­er­ing of retail real estate pro­fes­sion­als.

Ex­pe­ri­en­tial retail and the rein­ven­tion of shop­ping cen­ters were the dom­i­nant top­ics of con­ver­sa­tion. The in-store ex­pe­ri­ence and the mall ex­pe­ri­ence were also widely dis­cussed, and the ICSC in­vited retail-tech and prop­erty-tech star­tups to give pre­sen­ta­tions on ways to re­vive brick-and-mor­tar retail. Op­ti­mism abounded dur­ing the ͤrst day of the show, though some in­dus­try in­sid­ers ex­pressed con­cerns re­lated to how to nav­i­gate the loss of big­box ten­ants and ͤnd­ing the right ten­ant mix for retail prop­er­ties.

Many shop­ping cen­ters are ded­i­cat­ing more space to food­ser­vice of­fer­ings, in­clud­ing food halls. Mall op­er­a­tors are also mov­ing beyond ap­parel stores clus­tered around an­chor stores to cre­ate a mix of leisure and en­ter­tain­ment venues, gam­ing and vir­tual-re­al­ity con­cepts, art in­stal­la­tions, busi­ness ser­vices.

Shop­ping-cen­ter own­ers are also build­ing in per­ma­nent popup spa­ces and are in­cor­po­rat­ing shorter leases to adapt to the change in retail real estate. In­vest­ing in Tech, Mi­cro­fac­to­ries Ac­cord­ing to the Core­sight Re­search team, while the in­dus­try is in agree­ment is that retail square footage will shrink in the near fu­ture, it is hold­ing out hope that mi­cro fac­to­ries – which make prod­ucts on de­mand – could re­verse this trend, by al­low­ing for per­son­al­iza­tion, cus­tomi­sa­tion and im­proved on-shelf avail­abil­ity thereby sup­port­ing con­sumer de­mand for phys­i­cal stores. The Core­sight team also stresses on the fact that real estate own­ers must en­sure that the re­turn on in­vest­ment is proven and only then in­vest cap­i­tal in the same.

The Om­nichan­nel Era

As it has every year in the last decade, the topic of Om­nichan­nel retail dom­i­nated the con­ven­tion. The in­dus­try was of the view that the im­por­tance of Om­nichan­nel in new retail can­not be over­looked and that e-com­merce can ac­ti­vate store-based com­merce.

The Core­sight Re­search team gave ex­am­ples of this say­ing that re­tail­ers can achieve an Om­nichan­nel en­vi­ron­ment by of­fer­ing buy-on­line, pick-upin-store and re­serve-on­line, pick-up-in-store ser­vices. This can be done by part­ner­ing and col­lab­o­rat­ing with e-com­merce play­ers or by mak­ing their store func­tions con­sumer friendly.

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