ICSC NYC Trip 2012

icsc_nyc_dec2012

On Monday December 3, 2012, John Lister and I attended the International Council of Shopping Centers NY National Conference in New York City. That’s a long statement that can be condensed into one word, “Wow!”

On Monday December 3, 2012, John Lister and I attended the International Council of Shopping Centers NY National Conference in New York City. That’s a long statement that can be condensed into one word, “Wow!” Wow because despite all the current and potential roadblocks on the road to economic recovery, this show was a 180 degree turn around from 2011. The positive energy was palpable, it was everywhere. Over 2500 attendees made the show areas buzz with excitement. What made this show so different?

  • Prices and rates are at record lows, so “Why wait?” to finance that deal or buy that property? We experienced this up close and personal as we came away with real opportunities for new and exisiting clients.
  • Retail brokers, following this trend, are optimistic. They see more developments popping up in thier regions, vacancy rates shrinking and rents increasing.
  • Retailers, at least the good ones, are figuring out how to use the internet shopping to enhance their overall sales and profitability. Hudson Bay Company, with its Lord & Taylor brand, is at the leading edge of this program. Chairman and CEO Richard Baker stated: “We find 95% of our internet purchases originate from shoppers that live with in a five-mile radius of one of our stores. That means consumers are visiting and later shopping at home. We anticipate $80 million in Internet sales over the next five years. We intend to spend upwards of $1 billion over the next five years to renovate stores throughout the United States and Canada.”
  • Themed restaurants and retail concepts are really taking off, which in turn branches into concepts that “bridge the gap” between fast food and fast casual. Our client, Joe’s Crab Shack, is on the cutting edge of this explosive growth in themed restaurants.
  • Interest rates have remained low for quite some time, but banks were not lending. Now they are. And that is a good thing for our economy, it’s good for our clients and its good for JL Architects.
  • Escalator networking was taken to a new level at this show. I saw it and experienced it personally as both John and I said “Hello’s and How ya doing” to a number of clients and friends on the escalator. People were far more willing to talk, to share news, insights, contacts, and connections.