Last week we conducted a poll, “Are you optimistic about the future of the shopping center industry?” Respondents voted by dropping their business cards into the voting machine at our booth at ICSC RECon at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The voting machine was on a coffee table located at the seating area at the front of our booth. It was the subject of much curiosity and a great conversation starter with booth visitors and passers by. Thanks to all of you that stopped by to participate. There were four possible answers, Yes, No, Maybe, and Ask me again next year.
There have been a lot of stories in the press recently about retail. Most of them, it seems, center around store closings or how internet retailers have been disrupting traditional retail. This is not “fake news,” but it does not tell the whole story. If your only exposure to this story were from the media, you might think that the shopping center industry was in a precipitous free fall. However, as a thirty year retail veteran, this is only one of many shocks our industry has undergone in that period. It is unlike the previous ones, but none of them have really resembled their predecessors. Each time, the industry has reemerged, and we have delivered a product that better meets the current needs and wants of our customers.
On the last day of RECon, Wednesday, we hosted the #LetsGetSmart Speaker Series at our booth. Our speakers led us on a deep dive that was a nuanced exploration of the state of the retail industry. Over the next several blog posts, we’ll take a close look at their presentations. If you can’t wait, and want to view their talks first, you can watch them by clicking HERE.
As for our poll, here are the results:
YES – 74
NO – 8
MAYBE – 12
ASK ME AGAIN NEXT YEAR – 7
With an almost 3 to 1 ratio of Yes votes to all other options combined, RECon participants appear to be optimistic about the future of the industry. Is it that we have blind spot? Do we see the glass as half full, rather than half empty? Or, is it that we don’t have scales on our eyes, we have the knowledge of past disruptions, and we are the engines of change?
Join us on this journey as we explore the contents of the #LetsGetSmart videos over the next couple of weeks.
We’d like to know what you think about the future of the shopping center industry. If you are willing to share your thoughts, fill out the form below: