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Retail’s Hat Trick


ICSC fires up next week, so we asked The Retail Connection co-founder and prez Alan Shor what he’s seeing in the market. He gave us three trends that will be on everyone’s talking points in Vegas next week (along with where to buy cheap show tickets.)

1) Lean & Mean Retailers

Those retailers who weathered the downturn by cutting expenses, closing unproductive stores, and preserving capital are now thriving with healthy bottom lines. Now, those retailers are in a growth mode, gobbling up most of the quality real estate still vacant. Look at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, Petsmart, Vision Works, and Top Golf, he says. Those retailers (all repped by TRC) are in strong growth cycles, using technology and an omnichannel presence to make their businesses even stronger. (Also, and this may be a coincidence, they all sell some form of a towel.)


2) Higher Occupancy

Existing shopping center occupancies are reaching their highest levels in many years at almost 92%. Because of such strong growth from both retailers and restaurants, combined with the lack of existing space, the third trend (it’s like the delayed gratification that comes when you have to wait for the Memorial Day paint sales) has exploded.


3) New Development 

TRC has about 3M SF of projects in its development and acquisition pipelines (including its 700k SF development set to open next year in Tyler), Alan says. Other developments are in the works in Terrell and Killeen, as well as in Benton, Ark. The Tyler project was the first major retail development in Texas since the recession, he tells us. Alan (far right at ICSC last year with TRC CEO Steve Lieberman and Connected Development prez David Wilson) tells us TRC will be at ICSC and will take about 50 people. Hundreds of meetings have been scheduled, but Alan says he doesn’t schedule back-to-back-to-back meetings, preferring to meet with strategic partners and senior management of key retailers while building in some time to walk the space and check out the other booths. It’ll be rocking, he says. (The only thing ICSC needs to incorporate to be a really dynamic conference is cosplay: dress up like your favorite CEO or director of acquisitions.) Heading to ICSC? We'd love to see you! For editorial, contact Chris Baird and for business opportunities, please contact Frank Sanchez.