With a new president set to move into the White House and the continued evolution in the retail real estate sector, industry executives should have plenty to discuss when they gather for ICSC New York’s National Deal Making Conference at the Jacob Javits Center on December 5-6.
More than 502 companies will be exhibiting at booths spread along the expansive floor, according to an ICSC spokesperson, with over 11,000 registrants thus far. Last year, the show drew about 10,000 attendees.
In a first, Amazon will be sending a real estate team to the event, which will be “looking for opportunities,” spokesperson Malachy Kavanagh says. It’s known in the industry that the company is slowly getting into brick-and-mortar retail, according to Kavanagh, but he hints their plans extend beyond a convenience store business.
As the New York Deal-Making Conference continues to grow, ISCS is already thinking about how to expand the show’s offerings next year. The organization plans to take over the upper level exhibit space for 2017, giving it an additional 40,000 sq. ft. of room to work with.
“We discovered people want to do more than deal-making at this event, so in the future we will increase our educational offerings. We also want to expand on the number of technology companies exhibiting. Food is another area we are looking to grow next year,” a spokesperson says.
One big talking point ICSC anticipates industry insiders will be discussing at the show is what a Trump administration means for taxation and corporate tax breaks.
Retailers are a bit wary of a Trump presidency, Bloomberg recently reported, with Morningstar Retail Analyst Bridget Weishaar telling the media outlet that, “There’s almost no visibility into what, practically, will be enacted by Congress.”
There will also be another pressing subject to confer about, industry sources tell us: continuing to figure out how to best implement omnichannel retail strategies.
“I suspect how the [holiday] season has started and expectations for the rest of December will be a hot topic of conversation—asas it usually is. The continued progression of digital and physical channels merging and what that means for shopping centers and malls will also be top of mind,” says Greg Maloney, CEO of Americas retail with real estate services firm JLL.
“We’ve seen centers add more technology to help their retailers facilitate this new way of shopping across multiple channels and, at the same time, centers are adding more experiential tenants and activities to continue to distinguish themselves not just as places of transactional commerce, but destinations.”
More than 125 JLL representatives will be in attendance conducting more than 1,000 meetings. Maloney says he expects business activity to be “brisk.”
Real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield is sending over 150 retail professionals to the show and has more than 300 appointments scheduled at its booth’s 13 tables. When queried for comment on the retail trends thought to be the most pressing at this year’s show, company representatives said “the rebalancing of brick-and-mortar and e-commerce is the #1 discussion point” for their executives.
Executives from real estate services firm Colliers International say the topics that are at the top of mind for them are the “latest retail concepts or use categories expanding; who’s expanding and where; any impact to the retail sector post-election; as well as technology within the retail sector, site selection and use of social conduits to increase shopper spend, e.g., Instagram.” The firm has about 200 meetings scheduled for the 65 representatives it will send to the show.