The retail landscape is increasingly tumultuous. Last year bankrupted major retailers like Toys R Us, Gymboree, Payless Shoes, Wet Seal, Radio Shack and True Religion clothing, to name only a few. Meanwhile, Amazon has reached behemoth stature, and, with its acquisition of Whole Foods, groceries seem to be next in line to make the jump from brick and mortar to e-commerce.
Internet shopping is poised to grow from 15-20 percent of industry sales to as much as 40 percent within the next decade, according to Credit Suisse. The investment bank also anticipates another disruptive wave of retail bankruptcies ahead for the US, despite a strong holiday shopping season.
Still Kickin’ With Bricks And Mortar
Nevertheless, brick and mortar retail isn’t the apocalyptic deal that many are making it out to be. In the past, I’ve written about Warby Parker, which has shown significant growth since it opened its first showroom in SoHo in 2013. Bonobos, Amazon, Madison Reed and others have also invested in physical storefronts to offer consumers a more complete experience.
The trick for smart retailers is to understand what post-internet consumers want, and position accordingly. Companies that can transform with the seismic shifts will gain the upper hand with shoppers.
Savvy real estate developers who hold space for retail are keenly aware of this. With the death of malls sweeping the country and traditional big box retailers facing bankruptcy, developers are looking at new models to bring shoppers, brands and retailers together for the irreplaceable in-person buying experience. I spoke with Fred Bruning, CEO of CenterCal Properties, to find out how developers are positioning themselves, and the retail brands who lease from them, to succeed in future markets.