A Look at Retail’s Future

Posted on May 22, 2018

ICSC’s RECon 2018 in Las Vegas kicked off with Professional Development Day and panels and workshops focused on trends in retail. One of the first panels of the morning was an outlook on the next 25 years in retail with Charles Terry Shook, founding partner & principal at Shook Kelley, and Matthew Winn, founder of Win Winn Consulting.

Retail has changed a lot over the past 25 years. According to Winn, bigger stores were perceived as better, and pre-internet retailers were rewarded for store count. Now, e-commerce is accelerating store closures, and value stores are driving absorption. Developers need to make space convenient to make it relevant, Winn said. Additionally, developers are moving to downtown areas instead of just big cities. Outer-ring suburbs in smaller cities are developing with the city creating a greater urban sprawl.

Shook explained how today’s consumer is different from those in the past. Shoppers are now time challenged, culturally aware, message bombarded, energy stressed and experience hungry. According to Shook, all of this points to a future of omni-channel retailing. He explains that Amazon is doing excellent in the smile states and primarily coastal cities, but in the middle of the country, regular shopping centers are still performing well. The community center, according to Shook, is the nation’s most preferred format.

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