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January 11, 2019 Comments Off on Get Ready for the Future at Connect Retail West Views: 2202 California News, Orange County

Get Ready for the Future at Connect Retail West

By Dennis Kaiser

Connect Retail West is set for Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, CA. Leading up to the event, Connect Media asked one of the participants, Greenberg Glusker’s Craig Coan, to share insights on the biggest trends, opportunities and challenges, as well as how companies are adjusting to the changes, in our latest 3 CRE Q&A.

Q: What are some of the big trends you are tracking for retail developers or investors as we move into 2019?

A: Respected and credit-worthy restaurants are the new “anchor tenants,” which means that these highly- desirable restaurants have a lot more leverage in new deals. This is resulting in a lot of private equity funds looking to get into the space and flooding the market with new concepts, and willing to pay up for good locations. Developers and investors have to hitch their cart to the right restaurants and retailers, and not just the ones willing to pay the most. Westfield Century City is flooded with restaurants and retailers that just can’t be busy year-round.

Q: What do you think are the biggest opportunities and challenges for the retail sector?

A: E-commerce sales are now over 10% of total sales, but you now see that the online operators are creating brick and mortar locations (i.e. Amazon). Operators need to have both a robust online presence and provide shoppers with ready access to product in the neighborhood.

Q: What are some ways the retail industry can adjust to the changes it faces and emerge as a thriving sector in the coming 12 months?

A: Focusing on the retail experience, rather than just the pricing and the product. Costco and Walmart are still doing record numbers and most retailers can’t compete on pricing with them. Consumers are looking to get out of the house, and want to be entertained or experience something unique when they are out shopping. Developers are looking to create destinations and experiences for their customers, such as Virtual Reality and other activity spaces.

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