The “shift from bricks to clicks” in the retail industry describes a growing trend of retailers who are selling products online instead of at brick-and-mortar stores and shopping centers.
In retail, net absorption remains low and vacancy higher than expected, but the most growth is being concentrated in a few hot submarkets like Central Phoenix and Downtown Scottsdale.
The 21st century shopping experience is being reimagined through the Internet and concepts like “experiential retail,” which aims to draw in customers with an experience that keeps them coming back.
“The demand for outdoor, socially engaging mixed-use retail space has found its roots with a new generation of shoppers and is not going anywhere,” says Warren Fink, chief operating officer at Carlyle Development Group, which currently owns Metrocenter.
“Our goal is to incorporate not only retail but also uses like multifamily, office and possibly medical space,” he adds.
Despite increases in online retail sales, reports show a majority of shoppers still value in-store retail experiences.
In turn, Joshua Simon, president of SimonCRE, predicts more Internet retailers will be moving into brick-and-mortar storefronts.
“Customers are seeking a more catered experience and retailers are looking to connect further with their customers,” explains Simon. “We have seen it with Warby Parker, all of the mattress groups, such as Tuft & Needle, even Google and Amazon are embracing brick-and-mortar and putting more focus on the physical retail experience.”