ICSC RECon 2019 was held in Las Vegas, Nevada earlier this week. Half a dozen of our producers were in attendance at the retail organization’s largest annual event. Our team spent several days connecting with principal/owner clients and colleagues active in investment sales, valuation, capital markets, and landlord/tenant leasing to get a gage of the state of the retail industry. Although overall attendance was not at abundant as years past, the quality of the event was improved, creating a more impactful experience.
These are our top takeaways:
- Overall positive sentiment was noted throughout the convention center in regard to the health of retail.
- Innovation in retail was a recurring theme throughout the convention hall. Retail is in a state of change and that change is happening at a fevered pace.
- Overall there may have been fewer retailers exhibiting, but those that were there are still very much focused on brick and mortar operations. The focus seems to be in the primary and strong secondary market spaces. Single tenant and in-line retail developments appear to be getting the majority interest from retailers. Appears to be a continued push into the middle market size transactions ($2-$15MM) as well.
- Larger center, open-air and enclosed mall owners appear to have been focusing on transitioning from typical retail build-out to mixed-use with the intent on reducing the overall retail footprint within their developments.
- Retail borrowers and investment sales brokers indicated that the most recent pullback in Treasury yields is providing a bump in activity in their respective spaces. 1031-exchange activity in the single tenant and strip retail space remains very strong.
- Specialty retailers and uses showed well at the convention. Tenants such as Planet Fitness, Orange Theory, Dollar General, Burlington Stores, Dunkin Brands, and many others had much larger presences than in past years.