By: Matt Winn, Global Retail COO, Cushman & Wakefield Inc.
This week in Beijing, Cushman & Wakefield and ICSC launched our global partnership. We did so with 20 C&W colleagues from 9 countries. It highlighted for me the importance of ICSC as a gathering place and facilitator of meetings.
After three fascinating days in Beijing we have learned about the phenomenon that is Asia. Its young population with a new and growing consumer class seems poised to take the next step between now and 2020.
According to our latest research, in sharp contrast to just five years ago, many retailers now believe that they cannot be viewed as global retailers without a strong presence in Asia. Discussions on strategy increasingly focus on Asia as a key source of growth for the coming decades, and also as a source of innovation and new ideas. Retailers and developers alike are now changing their offerings to address the more experienced and demanding retail consumers of today’s Asia.
These growth opportunities will largely be in and around the city centers that we already know but also in 2nd, 3rd and 4th tier cities. Catering to this new urban population that is adapting to both the city lifestyle and new money will take time and patience. For the retailer and investor who take care to do so, we believe they will be rewarded.
The rapidly shifting landscape makes RECON Asia even more important as connecting with what is happening on the ground can only take place when we all come together as we did this week in Beijing. C&W is excited to be at the centre of this emerging retail trend.
For more information on Asia’s shifting retail landscape and what it means for retailers and developers, view the latest research report from C&W http://bit.ly/1b7eog1