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What Do Millennials Want With Retail Anyway?

Millennials don't want to be sold goods. They want an experience, says Jamestown Properties' Kristen Morris.


Kristen (here with Hartman Simons' Benno Rothschild), one of our panelists at last week's 5th Annual Atlanta Retail Real Estate Summit, says Millennial shoppers want a retailer who “quenches their thirst for curiosity.” Millennials are really smart and worldly kids who are “retraining” their parents to a different mindset, she says. It's why we're seeing so much demand for alternative urban retail sites like Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market. 


Kristen also says that Jamestown “never dreamed” that the office space would lease before retail at Ponce City Market. But she warns that retailers are beginning to push back against landlords who have been pumping up rents due to dwindling retail spaces. She says retailers are more and more open to alternative sites that offer more affordable rents. Regardless, shopping centers should reflect the local market and what the residents want, says DLC Management's Michael Puline. And in the 'burbs, landlords are still seeing growing demand from discount retailers and medical uses for retail space.