Here are some of her thoughts going into the convention:
But Beeke, in her typical understated and unflappable West Michigan manner, said she has no intention of freaking out.
"This is a year of transition for retail," she said. "What I keep hearing is that 2009 is that magical year. No matter what is ailing you, 2009 will be the cure, and all boats will rise in 2009. But what I want to see is what momentum is building now."
What she's been hearing from brokers is that retail has to slow down. It's been too hot for too long, and the recession of retail is not only inevitable but a healthy part of the cycle. However, that's not what she's seeing on her beat, and we're not seeing that in Southeast Michigan either.
"Retailers are still taking chances," Beeke said, noting that Cereality, a restaurant that serves, of all things cereal, will soon open a location in the West Michigan community of Wyoming. The restaurant has leased 1,342 square feet of space there.