Michael Braun, President of Grit Development Shares his Annual Recap on this Year's ICSC Conference in Las Vegas May 20-23. 

The Conference is the world’s largest global gathering of retail real estate professionals with 37,000 industry professionals & 1,200 exhibitors. 


Experiential retail remains one of the hottest trends in real estate development
Today’s consumer does not want to get bored; they travel everywhere and when they come back home they want to have the same experience.

A sophisticated Consumer wants a sophisticated retail Experience
Facebook and Instagram connect people, they want to meet at great locations to be social = Placemaking

The macro retail story has been negative the last 2 years, however, retailers in great
properties in great locations thrive. America has 1,200 malls, we are over-retailed.

About 700-800 Centers will be repurposed and or demolished in the next 15-20
years, 300 Centers will control 80% of all sales - Todays best properties will
become even better, others will disappear.

We live now in a world of transparent pricing - in order to compete you need to
provide customization and a unique experience. The old copy and paste no longer

We no longer have 4 seasons, the consumers want 52 seasons. A consumer will always pay for NEW and SPECIAL - see Gucci’s revival last 24 months. 

Nobody falls in Love with their Computer screen; you fall in Love with a store experience; including the important transaction experience. Everyone overestimates the coming changes in the next 2 years and underestimates the big changes occurring over the next 10 years.
The speed of change driven by technology will further accelerate

Mixed Use Redefined

Landlords need to create new draws and activities other than just shopping -

Hotels, Office, Food, Gym
The new Anchor stores are Food and Fitness versus the old Department Store Model

Department Stores used to transact 75% of Sales, today a mere 25%
We need people to come to the location- Office, Hotels
Marriott is teaming up with major shopping center Retail REIT’s to add Hotels as
new drivers to the site

Short Term Leases are here to stay
Every center needs unique concepts and with them come other problems
A startup that is in business for 3 years will and can not sign a 10 years lease
Municipalities the roadblock for change- short-term leases for new fresh concepts
die in the expensive and lengthy city administrative process.

Approval Process must be streamlined; today it prevents fresh and exciting tenant
concepts to test markets.

Unique retailers require unique Leases and a unique approval process
Store Rent = Showroom versus expensive marketing on Instagram and Facebook

The Future is combining both; showroom as the sales driver and delivery platform.
Neither can exist alone. Nobody falls in love with a computer screen.
Data is everything to make good decisions
Capital is the key ingredient for a great project, however, lenders are wary of unique leases and concepts, so is the municipality approval process.

The Power of Voice
Amazon, Google and Apple - what brand will be the suggested by your trusted AI

Today’s retailers want to be at the top of the google search, in 10 years VOICE devices control Everything
The One that controls the VOICE will control Retail

How to become greater than yourself
Amazon invests in everything
Will Amazon become the Everything Store or the Platform to buy from any place?
To remain relevant we all need to deliver an experience beyond products