March 24, 2017
By Daniella Soloway
Time, experience, and community were the resounding keywords coming from the Next Generation panel at Connect Retail West on March 16. Young leaders from Walker & Dunlop, Reza Investment Group, Equinox, Runyon Group and Simon Property Group took the stage to discuss the impact of technology on the sector, and the different ways in which the evolution of concepts and community are shaping brands and consumer engagement.
Here are some highlights from the conversation:
- Simon Property Group’s Matt Sebree said, “Online sales are only 10% or less of total sales, so it isn’t killing retail, but for malls to survive, they need to be focused on time/convenience and experience by creating one-stop shops.” He also stressed that the quality of product and customer service will come back to the forefront, as “there’s always an evolution, and we’re at the beginning for retail, so people are forced to get better or die off.”
- Equinox’s Ashley Marlowe discussed how today’s brands can leverage social media and new tactics to interact with their consumers directly, which will help them drive real-life communities and experiences, like those at SoulCycle and Equinox.
- Runyon Group’s Joey Miller believes there will be a stratification and shrinking of retail in the future as the commodity market goes online, even in the urban core. He suggests to get your hands on attractive spaces now, and use it as an opportunity to create other uses and backfill space.
- Reza Investment’s Cyrus Chini stressed the impact of technology on the sales process of real estate, saying that it has given everyone the ability to be an “expert in any market,” and provided for transparency and easier decision-making.
- Walker & Dunlop’s Rob Quarton moderated the panel, and provided advice to those in any industry, saying, “To succeed, you have to be resilient. Dodge and overcome obstacles. While at the same time, having an optimistic outlook fueled by your passion for your craft to persevere and drive forward to success.”
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Daniella Soloway