Apr 24

Experts Talk RECon; Creating Unique Experiences For Consumers

BY NATALIE DOLCE

LAS VEGAS—The 2017 edition of ICSC’s colossal RECon convention is gearing up and GlobeSt.com chats with a few expert sources on their expectations and predictions for the show.

LAS VEGAS—While there have been several negative announcement from retailers recently, retail seems to be on fire in many markets, including markets like Phoenix that were really hit the hardest back in 2007/2008. That is according to Jason Baker, principal with Houston-based retail brokerage firm, Baker Katz, who is one of the many industry sources we talked to about the retail market in advance of ICSC’s upcoming RECon conference in May. Baker tells GlobeSt.com that with all that in mind, he is anticipating that the overall tone and energy at the Las Vegas conference will be upbeat.

“I look forward to RECon each year because there’s really just nothing else like it—bringing north of 35,000 architects, retailers, brokers, landlords, etc., under one roof is unique to anything else that happens throughout the year,” explains Baker. “With that much energy and activity, good things are happening for those who come prepared with specific goals in mind. It also gives a great sense of where things are and where the industry is headed. RECon is a barometer for the retail industry.”

Tom Buxton, president and CEO of Buxton, tells GlobeSt.com that he too looks forward to another outstanding year at ICSC’s RECon. Buxton, who is on pace to break last year’s record number of meetings, says that he expects to see a lot of discussion about retailers and shopping center owners working together to create unique experiences for consumers, which he says is “an essential element in today’s brick-and-mortar environment.”

In addition, Buxton says, “expect to see technology innovations that help retailers to better understand site dynamics for both new and existing properties…interest in having the tools to support real estate decisions is high.”

According to Andrea Olshan, CEO of Olshan Properties, ICSC’s RECon is “definitely where the most innovative minds in retail converge to map out the future of the industry.” She tells GlobeSt.com that though much recent attention has been directed at the many challenges facing our business, she feels confident that the tone of the event will be positive. “The event will be and focused on further expanding the successful experiential retail sector which plays perfectly to the strength of mixed-use retail communities like the many town centers that we own and operate. We believe that the ‘live, work, play’ mix-use destinations will not just persevere going forward – they will become the most critical segment of the brick & mortar retail industry.”