Tag Archives: ICSC RECon

X Team booth, courtesy of Velocity Retail

ICSC RECon 2014: Retail poised for expansion

The 2014 ICSC event in Las Vegas has successfully wrapped up, and initial reports are that the retail industry is poised for continued expansion. The attendance was up from last year with the attendee count reaching close to 40,000. Having experienced the last 5 years of our annual convention during the economic downturn, this year was a welcome change. It was encouraging to see people spending their time talking about what is going on for the future and reviewing new sites. Discussing business. Not the past.

The ominous cloud that has darkened many markets for the past five years has appeared to have lifted. Looking around the convention hall there were site plans on every table, conversations were about new deals as retailers and developers are preparing for a measured expansion in the coming years.

Velocity Retail Group a member of X Team International, a network of experienced retail partners throughout North America. With over 35 offices and 400 professionals we are able to understand the market from a global perspective. Some states such as Texas, California and Florida have strong growth and are back to their pre-recession activity level. This is contrasted by a few other markets that are still feeling the economic effects of recent years.

In the Phoenix market we still have a ways to go, but we are finally rebounding with several economic indicators pointing toward positive growth. Forbes magazine projected Arizona to have the fastest job growth at 3% annually over the next five years, and Moody’s Analytics forecasted Arizona to expand to a U.S. best of 4.6% annual economic growth. A myriad of retailers and restaurants are opening their first stores in the Phoenix area with several more exploring future expansion plans.
The retail market is frozen no more. Phoenix vacancy rates continue to improve, and should finally break back into the single-digits by the beginning of 2015. In fact at that time, most of the retail submarkets in Phoenix except for the Central and Southeast Valley will be considered to be in a healthy position. The big-box sector, with 265 vacant big boxes will continue to be a source of concern. Our company has invested in new technologies, resources, and personnel. We are prepared for the next wave, and are expecting a big one.

ICSC image, Cushman Wakefield, WEB

ICSC RECon 2014 shares what’s in store

ICSC RECon 2014 lived up to the hype of being a busy convention packed with retailers and developers looking for their next deals.

Courtney Auther Van Loo is Associate Director | Retail Properties at Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc.

Courtney Auther Van Loo is Associate Director | Retail Properties at Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc.

More than 35,000 professionals gathered in Las Vegas to attend the show and the many cocktail parties that brokerage firms and owners host across the Strip.

Common trends continued to be smaller retail prototypes, redevelopments, mixed-use projects, outlet centers and social media. Multiple emails were sent out reminding attendees to use their social media tools to get the word out about RECON and company updates.

Arizona developers were back showcasing new developments as well as redevelopments; more so than in the previous few years. Multiple conversations with landlords discussed ways to break up larger vacant spaces to accommodate smaller uses and the right co-tenancy.

Many landlords continue to focus on ways to redevelop their current projects in order to bring more traffic and a stronger, more unique tenant mix.

The buzz continued from out-of-state developers looking to attract Arizona restaurant operators to their proposed projects as they have read and seen the success of Arizona restaurants and projects anchored by local operators.

Although some retailers continue to keep Arizona off their radar, there was an increased interest in tenants looking to expand their operations in Arizona as they see the market continuing to strengthen. Much of the interest was from restaurant operators and fitness users. There was additional interest from entertainment and grocery concepts not yet in the Arizona market.