This past week, Smet was represented at this year’s ICSC’s Global RECon event held in Las Vegas. ICSC stands for International Council of Shopping Center and depending who you ask; RECon stands for retail, real estate or reconnection. Regardless, everyone agrees, RECon is the global event for the shopping center industry. The event provides deal-making, networking, and educational opportunities for retail real estate professionals from all over the world. With over 30,000 attendees, it is the largest convention of retailers and landlords making it an unusual opportunity to conduct business and make new connections.
This year Smet was representing several retail projects in the Green Bay area for our clients. Discussions were held with several retailers and food operators to review their expansion plans and prospective locations in the market.
Increasingly food operators and service providers are finding their way into once traditional retail shopping centers that previously focused on fashion, toys, books and general merchandise categories. As many merchandise categories have merged into the “big box” retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, as well as Amazon and “internet” stores, landlords are increasingly turning to food operators, medical and business services to fill their vacancies.
New this year was chiropractic franchisee businesses and several home health care providers. Also numerous food concepts were present as many of the national chains such as Arby’s, McDonald’s, Subway, Chipotle, Qdoba, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Panda, all were well represented with their expansion plans. In today’s retail world, it is not uncommon for a strip center to have up to 50% of its square footage devoted to food whereas, according to the ICSC, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, the food category used about 15% of the space in a typical shopping center. Increasingly, time-crunched families are picking up dinner from their local shopping center which also helps to fuel this growth.
Overall, this year’s ICSC RECon event was an excellent experience to re-connect with new ideas, old friends, and current opportunities. Lastly, it was a great place to feature the half-dozen properties that Smet currently has in its development pipeline. If you are a prospective retailer or broker and would like to know more about Smet availabilities, click the link here to learn more. We work with brokers and would love to talk with you about these availabilities.
For More Information:
Greg Polacheck, Director of Market Research