How to Maximize Retail Opportunities: The ICSC Show Recap

It’s hardly news that retail real estate has seen some big changes in the last few years. It seems like everywhere we go, we see headlines about struggling retailers shuttering their stores en masse. Others are scrambling to find ways to improve profitability to avoid bankruptcy.

We’re happy to say that when we visited the ICSC RECon Show in Las Vegas this week, there was no doom and gloom to be found. Crowds were huge, moods were light – and big business deals were being made. Big time.

The ICSC RECon Show is the real estate industry’s biggest event of the year and is held by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The four-day event was filled with retail industry keynotes, presentations, informational sessions, and plenty of networking opportunities.

The show was attended by a wide range of professionals from some of the biggest shopping center realtors down to a three-strip owner in Oklahoma.  People were at the show to sign leases, close deals, and make things happen.

Savvy business owners know how to find their niché markets and develop their sweet spots, while smart marketers know how to build on opportunity. “It always seems like we’re hearing about the big chains that are closing, but the press never talks about the franchise that’s opening 150 new locations this year,” says Chuck Bray, Randal Retail Group’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The economy is good, and we’re seeing positive trends in store openings throughout the industry.”

Emerging Trends We’re Seeing in Retail:

• Convenience stores are doing delivery: whether it’s corn chips or cola – customers want what they want, and they want it delivered right to their door. Smart retailers are hopping on this trend and grabbing market share where they can.

• Shared kitchens: restaurateurs and fast casual restaurants looking to reduce overhead are finding shared kitchen space to be a good investment, especially when combined with delivery services.

• Medical marijuana: whether it’s a popup shop or a brick and mortar store, the legalized marijuana industry is taking on the clean, higher-end clinical look and feel of upscale pharmaceutical retailers.

Smaller is Better:

Big box retailers have been cutting back on their footprints by as much as 25-30% in recent years, and for good reason: better delivery. Improved delivery options in recent years means retailers don’t need to keep as much inventory on hand at every location. Reduced footprints means many business owners have been able to cut back on overhead costs, which are savings that can often be passed on to the customer. We call that a win-win for everyone.

Sticking to a Budget When Construction Costs Are on the Rise:

Along with a strong economy comes better wages – which means construction costs are on the rise. But that doesn’t mean your building costs need to go through the roof as well. Chuck Bray adds, “We always work with our clients to see where we can streamline costs to stay within their budgets. This means looking at everything from using more economical materials to reducing labor costs to delivery options.”

We enjoyed seeing many of our longtime friends and customers at the ICSC Show in Las Vegas. Attending the ICSC Show is a great opportunity for our team at Randal Retail Group to connect in person with so many of our colleagues and stay on top of the factors that affect all of us in the retail world. 

We’d love to share more about what we learned at the ICSC Show and how we can help meet your business objectives. Give us a call to discuss: 630-761-0400

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