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The Official ICSC Blog

March 19, 2014

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RECon Latin America Speaker Brook Scott Q&A

Brook Scott
Tell us about yourself…
As CBRE’s recent Interim Head of Research and Head of Occupier Research for the Americas, I closely follow the economic and demographic factors and megatrends impacting the retail sector as well as the other major property types. I work with other members of CBRE’s Global Research and Consulting team, a network of over 430 researchers who are focused on providing the latest insights into economic and property market trends impacting all types of commercial and multifamily residential around the globe.

Where do you see the industry in five years?
The retail sector is going through a tremendous shift at the moment, moving from a brick-and-mortar service delivery system to an omni-channel business model that is putting enormous pressure on multi-market and multi-national retailers to adapt and change. At the same time, huge demographic shifts are underway due to the aging of the Baby Boomer generation and the associated rise of the Echo Boomer generation in the United States and the overall graying of the population in many of the developed economies, like Japan. Meanwhile, the emerging economies of Latin America (for example, Brazil) and Asia-Pacific (for example, Vietnam) are seeing a big shift in the landscape with the increase in income levels through the huge megatrend of global urbanization and the rising middle class.

Over the next five years, we see continued growth in the retail industry, particularly as retailers continue their expansion across borders to access a new and growing base of consumers. We also see e-commerce becoming a much bigger share of overall retail sales in the developed economies, where internet infrastructure is already well developed. This will continue to drive changes in the way retail space is configured to meet the needs of the changing marketplace. The rise of the middle class in emerging markets in Latin America and Asia-Pacific create opportunities for retailers to expand their brands within those markets but also call on retailers to develop innovative solutions to meet consumer demand in an increasingly mobile world.

Why are you excited for the future of the industry?\The retail industry is at an exciting point in time in its evolution in reaching a wider audience on a truly global scale. This presents opportunities for growth that were unheard of just a few years ago. Retailers that are innovative in their brand expansion plans and in using omni-channel solutions to meet demand will see unprecedented success. Those retailers that do not come up with innovative solutions will risk being eclipsed by more nimble competitors.

Meanwhile, as the demand for institutional-quality real estate continues to grow and global sources of capital continue to expand, the retail sector will benefit as an appealing asset class for diversification purposes. In the U.S., significant opportunity exists for continued improvement in the neighborhood and community center retail sector over the next few years as the overhang of space is absorbed and the overall market reaches equilibrium again in 2017. This creates an opportunity for significant upside for the retail sector as retail real estate fundamentals continue to improve.

Globally, demand for high street retail is still very strong and high street retail is undersupplied in many markets, forcing growth to spread to secondary locations or surrounding submarkets. Development opportunities will continue to arise as demand for prime retail continues.

Tell us about your session at the conference?
In my session, I will provide an overview of the key economic, demographic and industry trends that are impacting retail around the globe. I will reveal where economic growth is concentrated and how that is impacting retail sales by region. We will look at the recent fate of the U.S. consumer and how that is impacting the demand for retail goods. We will also examine trends in e-commerce and how that is impacting the demand for retail space. I will also present our view on how economic, demographic and retail rent growth in Latin America compares with the growth we are seeing in the other regions of EMEA and APAC.

How can people reach out to you online?
The best way to access the expertise of our Global Research team is through our website at Use the drop down menu to visit our Global Research Gateway for all of our research reports and insights.

There you will also find CBRE Global Research’s recently released retail study “How Active are Retailers Globally?” which looks at retailers’ expansion plans across the globe.
You can also follow us on Twitter at @CBREGR

March 18, 2014

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ICSC Interview with Timothy J. Bruce, Executive Vice President of Leasing Redevelopment, Brixmor Property Group Inc.

Bruce_Timothy.jpgInterview conducted and condensed by Michael Lagazo

Brixmor Property Group Inc. (NYSE: BRX) owns and operates the nation’s largest wholly-owned portfolio of grocery-anchored community and neighborhood shopping centers, with 522 properties aggregating approximately 87 million square feet of gross leasable area located primarily across the top 50 U.S. metro markets. On November 4, 2013, Brixmor announced that it has completed its initial public offering resulting in gross proceeds of $948.8 million.

Mr. Timothy J. Bruce is the Executive President of Leasing & Redevelopment at Brixmor. Mr. Bruce reported occupancy had improved to 92.4% percent at September 30, 2013 – the 11th consecutive quarter year-over-year improvement in occupancy. Mr. Bruce added that this was the 26th month of consecutive rent growth.

What role are urgent care centers, medical and dental offices playing in leasing?

In 2013, 59 leases for healthcare tenants were signed in the portfolio. Increases are anticipated in 2014 consistently across all regions.

What types of operators are you targeting?
Regional healthcare providers, hospitals in the area, healthcare providers looking for premium retail space, outparcels. With 30 million more people required to have insurance through the Affordable Care Act, we anticipate greater leasing.

Brixmor Kroger New Chastain Corners Marietta GA.JPGWhat categories of tenants are you doing the most leasing with?
Large formats in the 10,000 – 20,000 square foot range. Retailers like ULTA, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ross (Dress for Less), TJMaxx, Hobby Lobby, and Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market.

In the 5,000 – 10,000 square foot arena, operators like Five Below, Panera Bread, Lumber Liquidators, and Unleashed by Petco – small pet formats are successful.

In small shop leasing, multiple deals are being signed. Great Clips, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt, GNC, and Subway.

Besides the growth in base rent, are there other lease terms that you are seeing swinging towards the landlords’ favor, whether they are annual bumps, or tenant rights, or other things along those lines?
Consistent annual increases in shop space with better co-tenancy clauses, favorable exclusivity, tighter rent commencement dates, we are able to negotiate less control of the common area.

How is demand in for the junior and mid-box segments? Which retailers are the most active in these spaces?
Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, Ross (Dress for Less), TJMaxx, Homegoods, Marshalls, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and L.A. Fitness.

Brixmor Fresh Easy Rose Pavilion Pleasanton CA.JPGOn small shop leasing, who are you generally leasing to?  Is it more franchises and national / regional vs. local tenants?
With capital not readily available for small business, we are focusing on national / regional and franchisors with good credit. Multiple deals are being signed with franchise operations such as Great Clips, Subway, Jimmy John’s, and UPS.

Are you confident that momentum in small shop leasing will continue for Brixor and what gives you confidence that it will accelerate?
Past performance indicates that small shop has occupancy increased and will continue to do so.

Besides project repositioning, is new construction a part of Brixmor’s strategy in achieving NOI goals? In the Q4 2013 National Retail Trends report, Reis Reports indicates that construction during the fourth quarter of 2.1 million square feet was the highest since the fourth quarter of 2007 in the retail sector.
We do not do new developments. Rather, we are focused on value-creating anchor space repositioning / redevelopment opportunities. We completed 26 redevelopment and/or anchor space repositioning projects in 2013. We currently have 19 redevelopment and/or anchor space repositioning projects in process.
Brixmor Target Victory Square Savannah GA.JPGWhat about ICSC RECon in May 2014 are you looking forward to?
At ICSC RECon, we are bringing 60 or more deal makers, and have a 7,000 sq. ft. booth. As you know this year’s event is starting at 12pm on Sunday so we are busy making appointments. Appointments have already been booked with national accounts, coordinate leasing office with the field to cast a very comprehensive net over retail community and to use time efficiently.

Reis Reports further states that the “national vacancy rate for neighborhood and community shopping centers declined by 10 basis points during the fourth quarter to 10.4%. This was a slight improvement versus last quarter when vacancy was unchanged, but more or less in line with the pace of vacancy compression since the market began to recover two years ago. Mall owners…have sought to reposition their malls when possible to capitalize on this.”

Data and Q4 2013 National Retail Trends analysis provided by Reis Reports,
Images provided by Brixmor Property Group Inc.,

March 14, 2014

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It’s March Madness ICSC Foundation-Style!

Realistic Vector Basketball Court and Ball
AlexMcDonaldMarch is synonymous with one thing, college basketball. The ICSC Foundation is getting in on the madness and providing you with an easy way to show your school pride while helping the next generation of industry leaders.

The ICSC Foundation, led by foundation director John Crossman CCIM, CRX, has made huge strides in their Undergraduate Real Estate Award Campaign. The ICSC Foundation partners with 28 universities in North America to give a deserving real estate student a $2,000 scholarship and ICSC student membership annually.

To ensure this program will continue for years to come, the ICSC Foundation has set out to raise $25,000 for each school’s scholarship fund. The results have been overwhelming: $386,417 collected in cash and pledges since the beginning of the year. Eight of the university’s funds have been endowed and in some cases the goal has been doubled and tripled. The math is easy – the more money we raise, the more scholarships we award.

Congratulations on the big win alums from the following universities:

Villanova University $75,000 Kieran P. Quinn Undergraduate Real Estate Award
University of Central Florida $56,916 George Livingston Undergraduate Real Estate Award
Florida International University $50,750 Rufrano Family Undergraduate Real Estate Award
University of Florida $47,500 Maury L. Carter & Associates Undergraduate Real Estate Award
Florida A&M $29,142 Glenn and Linda Sue Miller Undergraduate Real Estate Award
Florida State University $27,899 Dean Gatzlaff Undergraduate Real Estate Award
Southern Methodist University $25,125 Wilson/Boyd Undergraduate Real Estate Award
Florida Southern College $25,000 Charles H. Jenkins Undergraduate Real Estate Award

That leaves 20 schools to go. Some campaigns have a strong start and you can help make it a slam dunk. There are still plenty of alums who should be shameful about more than just their brackets.

University of Colorado


Baruch College


University of Connecticut


University of Northern Iowa


Indiana University


University of Pennsylvania


University of Georgia


DePaul University


University of Wisconsin


University of San Diego


Marquette University


University of Southern California


University of Illinois


University of Denver


University of Cincinnati


California State University-Northridge


Georgia State University




University of Texas at Austin


University of Guelph


How can you help your alma mater succeed this March? Visit the ICSC Foundation web site, log in, designate which school you would like your contribution to go to or use the tribute field to indicate your school.
Why not become a fundraising ambassador at any of these universities? It is a fun way to get more involved with ICSC and network with other alums in the industry. For more information contact ICSC Foundation at

Donate to your alma mater!

March 14, 2014

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Q&A with RECon Latin America Speaker Zia Daniell Wigder

Zia-Daniell-Wigder-PRTell us about yourself…
I am a VP and Research Director at Forrester Research focused on global eCommerce issues. I look at how eCommerce is evolving in different international markets and help companies figure out how to take advantage of best practices around the globe. I’m especially interested in the rapidly growing emerging eCommerce markets of the world such as those in Latin America.

Where do you see the industry in five years?
In every country in the world, eCommerce revenues continue to increase, with many markets in Latin America growing by a compound annual growth rate of almost 20% over the next five years. While Brazil will remain dominant from a revenue perspective, reaching $35 billion in online retail sales by 2018, other markets will continue to charge forward with exciting opportunities across the region. We see online retail sales in Argentina reaching almost $7 billion by 2018, and those in Mexico approaching $6 billion. There is clearly opportunity for retailers to expand their eCommerce offerings in the short term, and to prepare for much larger markets longer term.

Why are you excited for the future of the industry?
eCommerce is exciting because of the substantial growth in the market going forward, as well as the pace of change in the industry. We’ve barely scratched the surface of what mobile commerce will look like in Latin America, for example – likewise, omnichannel initiatives are very much in their infancy. Latin American retailers are in a unique position in that they already play a prominent role in eCommerce in the region – a look at the list of the top 10 online retailers in any of the larger Latin American markets reveals a number of traditional retailers on the list. That dynamic differs from markets like China and India where almost all of the leading players are web-only retailers.

Tell us about your session at the conference.
My session at the event will look at some of the developments in emerging eCommerce markets around the globe and will analyze how eCommerce in Latin America is similar to – and different from – eCommerce in other fast-growing markets like Russia, India and China. We’ll look at what eCommerce trends are apparent in virtually every country around the globe, and which ones are specific to Latin America. We’ll also talk about how retailers can take advantage of some of the trends and innovation taking place outside of the region. The session aims to provide a global view of what’s happening in eCommerce and present Latin America within that context.

March 12, 2014

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Check out this Q&A with RECon Latin America Speaker Julian Treasure

Julian TreasureTell us about yourself
Julian Treasure is founder and chairman of The Sound Agency, a UK-based audio branding consultancy that asks and answers the question: “How does your brand sound?”. For 10 years TSA has been proving that good sound is good business for clients such as Harrods, Nokia, BP and many major shopping malls across Europe. His book Sound Business is the seminal work on creating intentional, effective business sound. He has been widely featured as a sound and communication expert in the world’s radio, print and web media, including TIME Magazine, The Economist and The Times. Julian is also a sought-after and top-rated international speaker. Collectively his four TED talks on various aspects of sound and communication have been viewed an estimated seven million times; his talk on conscious listening is in the rare group that have achieved over 1.5 million views on, putting it in the top 100 TED talks of all time.

Where do you see the industry in five years?
In five years shopping centers will be focused on delivering two things: designing experience (in all five senses) that delights and engages; and facilitating community through imaginative social spaces.

Why are you excited for the future of the industry?
I’m excited because so far the industry has hardly scratched the surface of what sound can do. In a few years we’ll look back on bad acoustics, lots of M&E noise, and mindless pop music played through low quality sound systems and wonder how anyone ever thought that was a great retail environment.

Tell us about your session at the conference.
My session will transform attendees’ relationship with sound for ever! I will show how sound affects us all and why we don’t notice this. I will explore how good sound is good business for brands, especially in retail, with examples of how sound can increase sales and customer satisfaction.

March 10, 2014

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ICSC Offers Job Seekers A Helping Hand

ICSC members around the world know they can visit the association’s online jobs board to post or browse through job listings and résumés. Indeed, this free service has long been one of the most popular features of the ICSC website. But when it comes to finding a job — or finding an ideal job candidate, for that matter — ICSC can be a helpful resource in other ways as well. “The jobs board is great for helping both employers and people seeking employment, because we’re constantly updating it and adding new opportunities there,” said Jennifer Marotta Collin, ICSC’s membership development manager. “But there are also ways to network and build contacts through ICSC that can be every bit as valuable as posting on our jobs board.”

Real estate is a relationship-based business, so those ICSC members who volunteer with the organization stand to learn more about the industry even as they forge new connections with potential employers or job candidates, Collin says. Volunteer opportunities include serving as a speaker or panelist at ICSC events; judging awards programs; contributing to the association’s philanthropic foundation; working with young people through the Next Generation program; planning and setting agenda topics for local programs or large conferences; and lobbying lawmakers.

Job seekers may also gain an edge over the competition by pursuing professional certification through ICSC, Collin notes. Becoming a Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX), a Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM) or any of the other designations available can help a professional to build confidence for earning a promotion, or may boost personal marketability for job offers. Certification may also be associated with higher pay, more-attractive employer incentives and a greater level of peer recognition. “The whole purpose of the 50-year-old program is to enable marketing, leasing, management and development professionals to attain the highest level of competency in their given fields,” she said. “When you get ICSC-certified and add that to your profile, it shows that you really care about and understand the industry.”

March 5, 2014

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Industry Infographic – March 5

Infographic_MobileThe ICSC Industry Snapshot is a bi-weekly report presented as an info-graphic; produced by ICSC’s Communications department. This dashboard presents an overview of key industry metrics in an easy to follow and visually pleasing format, so that the user can quickly navigate it and take away a high-level view of industry performance. Furthermore, the dashboard is presented in a mobile format so that the user can easily access it on their smartphone or tablet. Each installment of the snapshot features; U.S Shopping Center sales, Weekly U.S. Chain Store Sales, Shopping Center NOI by Area, the latest ICSC Shopping Center Executive Survey, CMBS Delinquency Rates, U.S. Chain-Store Sales by Segment, U.S. Shopping Center NOI by Type, U.S. Shopping Center Jobs, and other Shopping Center Facts.

February 25, 2014

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Industry Snapshot – February 25

The ICSC Industry Snapshot is a bi-weekly report presented as an info-graphic; produced by ICSC’s Communications department. This dashboard presents an overview of key industry metrics in an easy to follow and visually pleasing format, so that the user can quickly navigate it and take away a high-level view of industry performance. Furthermore, the dashboard is presented in a mobile format so that the user can easily access it on their smartphone or tablet. Each installment of the snapshot features; U.S Shopping Center sales, Weekly U.S. Chain Store Sales, Shopping Center NOI by Area, the latest ICSC Shopping Center Executive Survey, CMBS Delinquency Rates, U.S. Chain-Store Sales by Segment, U.S. Shopping Center NOI by Type, U.S. Shopping Center Jobs, and other Shopping Center Facts.

February 24, 2014

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It’s the Real Thing


By: Sarah Ritchie

As part of New York’s Social Media Week, ICSC was delighted to host a gathering featuring Scott Ryan and Keith Berman from the Coca-Cola Company, who presented on “Customer Engagement in the SoLoMo Revolution.” 

The pair provided a sweeping review of advertising strategies during the Coca-Cola’s 127-year history.  With products in 207 countries (indeed, more countries than are represented in the United Nation), the multi-billion dollar company recognizes that they are largely selling “one drink at a time,” with the focus on selling an “experience” of drinking one of America’s favorite beverages.

Mobilizing Social/Local/Mobile (SoLoMo) strategies, Coca-Cola aims to tug at the heartstrings of consumers reminding them of the memorable occasions that they have enjoyed Coke—be it a family gathering, holiday celebration, or sporting event.  Likewise, the company takes great efforts to connect Coca-Cola consumers, through social media and thought-provoking campaigns.  In short, their mission is to “Bring People Together.”  The leaders at Coke recognize that “Marketers don’t control the Brand—consumers do.”

Ryan and Berman provided analysis of some of their most innovative campaigns, of late.   Recently, of course, the company stimulated a great discussion about American culture through their now-famous television ad during the Super Bowl game.   Millions watched the touching rendition of “America the Beautiful” sung by a bevy of young girls from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds—Native American, European, African-American, Latina, Asian, and Middle Eastern.  Their goal? To remind viewers that America is a tapestry of immigrants (save the Native Americans), from all parts of the globe.  To some, the commercial was controversial; to most, it was emotional and sentimental.  But one thing is clear:  the advertisement spawn analysis and commentary among traditional news outlets and throughout the world of social media.

The duo outlined another inspired campaign, harkening back to their admired campaign of the 1970’s (known in the business as the “hill top” ad—with dozens of young singers reciting the lyrics, “I’d like to buy the world a coke….”).  Through a brilliant partnership with Google, “regular people” are invited to use their smart phones to “pay it forward,” buying a coke for a random person in some particular part of the world.  The recipient is pleasantly surprised with a complimentary beverage and good wish from the gift-giver, to which they may respond with a personal greeting.  These random acts of kindness are unusually powerful, given the small monetary investment of a can or bottle of coke.  This strategy clearly embodied the words of the “hill top ad” about buying a coke for the world.

In an even more ambitious project, they used the age-old soda to draw together consumers from India and Pakistan, countries experiencing significant political tension since their post-World War II division.  My words don’t do justice to the beautiful images of folks connecting one-on-one with individuals in the other country.  Coke is literally bringing people together—directly.

As we closed the meeting, I pondered the great sweep of advertising and social media campaigns that I’ve taken in as an “average” consumer.  Quite honestly I could not think of any examples of advertising that stepped aside in the promotional process, facilitating one human being connecting with another to enjoy a popular project.  For someone, like myself, unduly influenced by the cynical portrayal of the advertising world in the TV show Mad Men, I was truly uplifted and energized by these superb efforts.  Had I not already been a huge fan of Coke before the meeting, I would have immediately headed to a vending machine to experience it for myself.