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As Walmart becomes more urban, it's also going to get smaller. And Walmart's Matt Sitton expects other retailers will follow suit. (Soon, if you want a dress from Ann Taylor, you'll have to send a Barbie doll to get it.)
philadelphia retail real estate summit rittenhouse hotel matt sitton walmart smaller boxes
Matt (on left) was among our panelists at last week's BisnowPhiladelphia Retail Real Estate Summit at The Rittenhouse Hotel who opined on the future of retail. “You're going to see the boxes tend to get smaller,” Matt says. “The next layer of fat for almost all retailers is their uban environment.” Matt also reiterated there are no definitive plans for a Neighborhood Market concept in Downtown Philly, but says the format would work very well nonetheless. As for new store growth, Matt called NJ “the California of the East because it's the second hardest place to develop” with everything from local ordinances to even competitors throwing up barriers to growth. (NJ also has a beautiful shoreline and it's own assortment of "stars.")
goldenberg group adam rosenzweig shrinking box office depot max staples philadelphia retail real estate summit rittenhouse hotel
The Goldenberg Group's Adam Rosenzweig says the “shrinking of the box” (which sounds like the title of a Star Trek episode) is a phenomenon not just limited to urban retailers. Many retailers are reducing space use due to efficiency improvements. Adam points out the Big Three office supply retailers once used up to 32k SF for a store. “Now you're seeing Office Max and Staples and Office Depot roll out 5,000 to 7,000 SF stores that are just as highly efficient as the big boxes used to be.” And these mid-sized tenants are helping to break up and reuse former big box spaces.
preit svp joe aristone department stores alternative uses malls medical restaurants gallery redevelopment philadelphia bisnow retail real estate summit rittenhouse hotel
PREIT SVP Joe Aristone (left) says, at least within the mall sector, we'll never return to a time when 90% of the retailers at a mall were made up of four department stores. “That's changed,” he says. “It's never going to come back to that model. So you have to be creative.” That includes focusing on local merchants and seeking alternative uses. He also called PREIT's $100M redevelopment of The Gallery in downtown Philly a “work in progress,” and that the project has a “uniqueness” that “hasn't quite materialized yet."
ras brokerage david orkin chipotle panera fast casual traffic restaurants philadelphia bisnow retail real estate summit rittenhouse hotel
And RAS Brokerage founder David Orkin—the go-to guy for restaurants looking to grow in Philly—says the “fast casual” sector (with such names as Chipotle and Panera) will be the fastest-growing restaurant segment in the next five years, especially with more dual-income families and less time to cook at home. And David says restaurants are becoming better draws to malls, given that they can drive traffic to a property. The typical casual restaurant will bring in up to 5,000 guests per week, mainly at dinnertime, he says.
GAF Materials Corp's Jim McDermott and DDP Roofing's Dave McCaffrey rittenhouse hotel bisnow philadelphia retail real estate summit
We caught up with GAF Materials Corp's Jim McDermott and DDP Roofing's Dave McCaffrey during our retail summit. DDP has come a long way since its 1989 residential roofing roots. DDP, which is a valued sponsor at our event along with GAF, now focuses on commercial roofing emergency repairs and replacements.