Contact Us

Retail in the New Reality

Retail in the New Reality
Carl Muller
With one of the country's major junior tenants filing for bankruptcy, and a decrease in development of new space nationwide, the ICSC had more ideas to exchange than usual at last week's meeting in Chicago. Wal-Mart Real Estate North's Carl Muller says the way his store is interacting with the city has changed. Chicago is more willing to give the retailer a chance to absorb occupancy and create jobs, especially if it means installing one of its 30k to 75k SFneighborhood markets, he says. One Wal-Mart is already under construction in Chatham and another is planned for the Pullman Park neighborhood.
Chicago Loop Alliance's Ty Tabing and Downtown Evanston's Carolyn Dellutri, here with panel moderator Retail Traffic's David Bodame
Vacant retail space is causing an issue for some municipalities, but Chicago Loop Alliance's Ty Tabing and Downtown Evanston'sCarolyn Dellutri (here with panel moderator Retail Traffic mag'sDavid Bodamer) said they're buoyed by temporary art galleries. They pay no rent but often draw attention to vacant spaces and keep panhandlers away from the entryways of downtown retail spaces. Chicago's Gallery Walks, which leads customers around the Pop-Up Art Loop started by the Chicago Loop Alliance, will begin again in March, Ty says.
Amy Crowther
Social media is still important for marketing your municipality to retailers, said the Village of Berwyn's Amy Crowther. Amy helped bring retailers like Meijer to Berwyn's Cermak Plaza and usesTwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn. The key to drawing in new interest is to stay short and concise, not deliver too many marketing messages, and use the platform to tell your community's news, she says. Cermak Plaza, for example, has recently added wind turbines to generate some of its energy.