Clicks & Bricks: Retail Lessons from the ICSC

The theme this year at the International Council of Shopping Centers was “Clicks & Bricks: Stronger Retail Together.”

View of Costco from it's parking lot

Costco, Airport Blvd, Ann Arbor

Lessons Learned

Many brick and mortar retailers are partnering with companies like Amazon (Nike, Costco, Kohls and Sears are examples) due to the increasing user demand for online purchase capacity. The retail industry is just past the lower echelon of being oversized. As a result, demand for retail shopping centers will be decreasing. This means that existing retail shopping centers will be repurposed, which results in new projects for real estate professionals.

The increase in online shopping does not mean that store fronts are going away.  In fact, Amazon is opening physical pop up store locations.  Amazon pop up stores are in Michigan, at the Whole Foods in Rochester Hills, Twelve Oaks Mall and Great Lakes Crossing Outlet.

We also discussed the increasing growth of Dollar Stores and Food Halls. This was a favorite topic for me as I have extensive history developing stores for Family Dollar.

Other topics discussed were Transformational Brownfield Plans presented by Tom Wackerman, and Traps in your Contract: How Rules of Construction Can Make or Break Your Deal, presented by Patrick Karbowski from McDonald Hopkins. Pat presented real court cases that set the precedence for lease agreements here in Michigan.

Plymouth Green Crossing Shopping Center

Plymouth-Green Crossings Shopping Center

A key factor of the ICSC is the union of 70,000 real estate professionals in one vibrant global community.  ICSC has been spearheading this since 1957.  I attend these events as part of Midwestern’s retail initiative.  I have been active since 2014 and have attended the annual Michigan Retailers Breakfast, Michigan Holiday Party, Michigan Idea Exchange and Centerbuild in Phoenix.

We could talk about the ins and outs of retail industry growth, all day. If you have questions, feel free to contact Rob Wagner.

Wondering what our retail client profile looks like? Midwestern’s strong retail portfolio includes Arborland Shopping Center, Costco Warehouse, Farmer Jacks, Plymouth Green Crossings and Walgreens.