The ICSC Blog

July 17, 2014

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ICSC Research Summer Meeting


ICSC’s research department hosted a summer meeting on Friday, July 11, with its North American Research Task Force (NARTF). The NARTF meets with the department twice a year and is involved in planning ICSC’s annual Research Conference. The conference will be held this year on September 28-30 in Denver, Colo.

In addition to discussing future directions for the department, meeting attendees also heard from Eric Hertz, senior staff vice president for education, ICSC, who discussed how industry researchers can benefit from ICSC’s extensive education programs. Later, they listened to presentations by David Green, vice chairman, brokerage, at Cushman & Wakefield, on New York City’s evolving urban retail landscape (especially on Fifth Avenue and Lower Manhattan), and by Dennis Cantalupo, chief operating officer of Creditntell, who analyzed store activity and company health for upscale retail.

Cantalupo described the reasoning behind the credit ratings he assigned to retailers, listed which companies fell along the rating spectrum, and discussed how well executives’ strategies were likely to improve their bottom lines in the future.

Green analyzed the factors underlying retail store development in the following areas, among others:

  • Lower Manhattan: As a result of massive capital infusion and a post-9/11 rebuilding effort, approximately 970,000 square feet of new, renovated and repurposed retail space is currently being marketed in this section of the city, with particularly noteworthy retail projects such as One World Trade Center, Brookfield Place (formerly known as the World Financial Center), the redevelopment of South Street Seaport as Pier 17, and the Fulton Transit Hub (which will include an estimated 65,000 square feet of new retail space). Retailers and developers are targeting an exploding residential population, office workers and tourists;
  • Fifth Avenue: Shoppers will see an influx of fast-fashion retailers, several of which are part of an influx of foreign companies who are establishing flagship stores as part of their effort to enter the U.S. market; and
  • Soho: Throughout much of the city, but especially in this area and the Meatpacking District, companies opening new stores face the challenge of adapting to retail use buildings that are protected by historical-landmark legislation.

The next North American Task Force meeting is scheduled for February 10-11, 2015, in El Paso, Texas.

For more information about how to join the North American Task Force, please contact Chris Gerlach, director of public policy research, ICSC, at

Other research task forces include:

European Research Group

Canadian Research Group

Mexican Research Group

Asia-Pacific Research Council








July 16, 2014

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Check Out Retailer of the Week, Reviver

When it comes to eating healthy, people always seem to be looking for the next big thing. Crazes like the paleo diet and cutting out gluten appeal to some dedicated dieters, but what about those who want normal food, just healthier? The solution lies in the concept adopted by Reviver, a new fast casual restaurant on 8thAvenue at 55th.

Focused on food that is both delicious enough to crave every day and healthy enough to eat every day, co-founders Todd Horowitz and Scott Leibfried are changing the healthy food restaurant game with a premise so simple it is almost outside the box. Everything on the menu is based on the principles that food should be balanced, nutritious, clean, and pure. This focus ensures that everything is fresh, unprocessed, and non-GMO. While most menu items contain meat, there are multiple vegetarian and vegan options, as well as dairy free and gluten free foods.

Reviver is planning to open further locations in New York City, with the possibility of further expansion in the future. For more information, check out Reviver’s official website.

July 15, 2014

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Michael A. Carroll, CEO, Brixmor Property Group Offers Advice to the Next Generation of Industry Leaders

Carroll_Michael-0010High-res.jpgBy: Veronica Polanco

As Millennials just getting started on our careers, we are the talk of the town. We are analyzed by research teams, targeted by advertisers and ultimately, expected to start careers and eventually make up the majority of the workforce. As we begin our jobs, the spotlight is on us. We’re nervous, enthusiastic, and unsure about what the future brings. As a result, we look for role models to inspire and guide us, or at best, rub off on us. We listen intently and crave advice, hoping that someone will give us the exact formula for success. By following the footsteps of a positive role model, we hope to grow professionally and one day become the mentors of the generation after us.

For the next generation of retail real estate professionals, Michael A. Carroll is an excellent example of a role model. With over twenty years of experience in the shopping industry he is a well-established retail real estate veteran.

Carroll received his undergraduate degree in business administration at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in 1992 and his MBA from the University of Toledo. His first job was a leasing position at New Plan Excel Realty Trust, Inc. Carroll quickly showed leadership capabilities. In 2007, he became COO of the company, which had been acquired by Centro Properties Group US, and in 2009, he became CEO of Centro, which was rebranded as Brixmor Property Group in 2011. Brixmor Property Group owns 522 shopping centers, located in 38 states, and operates three regional and twelve local offices nationwide. Carroll balances his CEO position with his active membership as an ICSC Trustee and the Urban Land Institute. He also serves as the Director of the Bowling Green State University Foundation Board and has endowed a scholarship at BGSU for business majors.

Carroll’s success is one that may feel unattainable or intimidating to young people; yet Carroll is committed to helping and encouraging the next generation of retail real estate professionals. He will be the keynote speaker at ICSC’s upcoming Next Generation Conference in Philadelphia. In preparation for the event, Carroll took the time to offer some advice as well as give us a sneak peak as to what he will be discussing at the conference. When asked, What is one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting in the industry, Carroll encouraged young professionals to get a better accounting and finance background. When he first entered the industry, Carroll went back to business school because he realized he lacked knowledge in this area. Carroll also encouraged our generation to pursue different facets of retail real estate and emphasized that being well-rounded will put young people in “the best position.”

Carroll advises young professionals to look for roles in their first jobs, where there are increasing levels of responsibility. He believes that additional responsibilities lead to visibility and enhances overall professional development. According to Carroll, the best business advice he has ever received was to focus on maintaining a strong, solid reputation; a key factor in relationship building and career success.

“A reputation is earned by many acts, and lost by only one act,” Carroll said. He believes that a reputation is something to be thinking about all the time.

Carroll gave us a snapshot of what he will be focusing on at the conference. Some key topics will be the changes taking place in macro-retail, e-commerce and the lack of new development. He thinks the shortage of space will make industry professionals consider how we should use existing assets. When asked about the future of the shopping center industry, Carroll was extremely upbeat. He believes shopping centers will become more productive and omnichannel will become more advanced. Carroll is optimistic that the industry will establish a harmony with e-commerce.

In terms of the next generation’s role in the future, Carroll expressed, “I believe young people are the engines that drive business. It’s important to harness their energy.”Michael A. Carroll will speak at 1:45 PM at ICSC’s Next Generation Conference in Philadelphia on July 27-29.




July 11, 2014

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Congratulations to 5 more scholarship winners!


All though schools are out for the Summer, the ICSC Foundation has been hard at work helping the next generation of industry leaders.  The ICSC Foundation is in the middle of a Capital Campaign to expand our scholarship program. Click the below links to learn more about our winners and more about each scholarship.

Winners of the Kieran P. Quinn Villanova University Undergraduate Award, Rudolph Celli  and Alex Greenberg

Rudolph is from Berwn, PA and is in Villanova’s School of Business, majoring in finance and real estate.

“This will serve not as a culmination of my journey, but a stepping stone and a huge motivator to continue moving towards being the best student, then professional, that I can be.”

 Alex is from Longmeadow, Mass. and is in Villanova’s School of Business, majoring in finance, real estate and accounting. “Receiving this award is an enormous boost to my overall motivation. It will truly allow me to more easily explore my academic interests while lifting the weight of academic costs from my shoulders.”

Winner of the Rufrano Family Undergraduate Real Estate Award, Danilo Rupena

Danilo is from Aventura, FL, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in finance and real estate at Florida International University.  “Mr. Rufrano is someone that has had a very successful career, and is someone who I truly look up to for his continuous hard work and contributions to the community.”

Winner of the Charles H. Jenkins Undergraduate Real Estate Award at FSC, Ashley Woodham

Ashley is from Tallahassee, FL., majoring in business administration with a Spanish minor. “Receiving such a prestigious scholarship showed me that hard work pays off.  This scholarship is aiding me in finishing my academic career at Florida Southern College, and for that I will be forever grateful.”

Winner of the ICSC Gap Inc. Fellowship Recipient, Janis A. Stewart

Janis is a recent graduate from University of Southern California with a Masters in Urban Planning. “I believe in the importance of nurturing the professional careers of future generations to help shape better communities,” said Stewart. “I am happy to know that the ICSC Foundation also places great value on communities and how their futures are shaped.”

Thanks to the generosity of our members, we have 14 new scholarship debuting this year.  Find out more about our campaign and how you can help.

July 10, 2014

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Q&A with MOCIAL Speaker Mallorie Rosenbluth

Mallorie_Rosenbluth LikeableMediaTell us about yourself…
I classify myself as the following: a marketer, a reader, a shopper and most importantly – a New Yorker. I’ve worked in the social media space since the beginning and initially gravitated towards the industry because I loved using Facebook as a college student. When I started my professional life, I thought my career in marketing could be taken to a whole new level with social media. Turns out, I was right.

What is your favorite apps to use?
Hard to choose! I’m a new fan of Broadway, and absolutely love Today Tix (it’s TKTS without the long lines or tourists!). I’m crazy about Instagram. And couldn’t live without Seamless (they were my favorite long before they were a client!). They’re all in my frequently-used app list.

With society’s increasing dependence on technology, what changes in marketing strategies has it made in last few years?
Since people are literally connected 24/7, there’s an opportunity to reach people at so many more moments during their day. With that “always on” shift though, there have becomes so many messages to sift through. As a brand, the tactics change but the importance of reaching the right people at the right time with the right message has never been more important.

What have been the benefits of incorporating digital marketing and mobile apps into your corporation?
Well without these things, Likeable Media couldn’t exist as an agency! For the brands we work with, they’ve gotten so much more educated about their consumer and are able to offer more customized and relevant experiences and interactions.

In what ways has the digital age revitalized your industry?
I work for a social media agency. So without digital, we wouldn’t be here. But for agencies, the digital age is creating many challenges – and opportunities. The days of Mad Men style organizations are gone. We need to move quickly and nimbly, impact our clients and create meaningful connections with their consumers. It’s a lot more than an ad in a magazine or a thirty second TV spot.

How important is consumer engagement? How do you bring attention to your brand through you social media channels/mobile apps?
Consumer engagement is everything these days. If you post content or push a campaign and people don’t interact with it, it’s like it never happened. Social media is a critical part of everything a brand does whether they like it or not. People are talking about things they see – and they’re talking about it online.

What do you hope participants will gain by attending your MOCIAL session?
I hope people walk away from my session and see how social media can really impact their consumers experience offline. I hope people change the mind about social and are inspired to take their approach to the next level.

Is the increasing number of online shoppers a concern to you?
No way! But maybe I’m a little biased on that :)

July 9, 2014

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ICSC Retailer of the Week: AYR Guideshop

These days, shopping for clothes typically means one of two things: going to a brick and mortar store, or buying online. But new retailer AYR, pronounced “air,” has created a new concept by combining the positive aspects of each method in its guideshop.

Located on the fourth floor of the AYR design studios, the guideshop allows customers to try on the clothes, but they cannot walk out of the store with anything they wish to purchase. Rather, they must order the clothes to be shipped to them later, as the guideshop only carries one article in every size instead of full inventory. This follows parent company Bonobos’s business model, which started online before expanding to guideshops and clothing lines in Nordstrom stores.

Ayr is a town in Design Director Jac Cameron’s native Scotland, and cleverly also stands for All Year Round. This reflects the brand’s dedication to versatility, with essential denim, shirts, and blazer pieces acting as the staples of the current collection. The brand launched online early this year and opened the guideshop shortly after. Although the guideshop is tucked away in the design studio, Brand Director Maggie Winter says they are expecting ground-level AYR guideshops on the horizon. Check out AYR’s official website for more information.

July 3, 2014

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Critical Preparations You Need (but hope you never have to use)


By: Daniel

After waking up bright and early, my morning routine consists of a little breakfast, coffee and catching some news on the television before I head out to the office. Pretty standard. Sometimes, however, I am hesitant to turn on the news. Sometimes, I just want to leave the TV off. With recent headlines like Fort Hood and the Washington Mudslide, sometimes I just want to tune out the world. But things happen. Accidents happen. Extreme weather happens. And, unfortunately, public violence and acts of terror happen too.
Since the ostrich approach of burying our heads isn’t practical, our best defense against dangerous situations is to be prepared. Now, it’s easy to say, “Sure, I’m prepared” but are you really?
If you are, great, you are ahead of the game, but since the foundation of being prepared is to always check and verify, lets discuss some critical preparations incase disaster strikes. Being proactive about emergency preparedness can save you time, money and, even more importantly, it can ensure the safety and well-being of your tenants, staff and customers during a crisis.
Let’s start at the beginning. The first and most basic preparation is to develop an Emergency Action Plan and crisis communication strategy. A great resource for emergency planning is
Your Emergency Action Plan should include a contingency strategy for a variety of situations. Start by making a list. Two columns: Emergencies and Actions. Each emergency may require specific responses. Think extreme weather, power outages, acts of terror, a fire, riot or shooting—these are not pleasant things to think about but it is a necessity for Shopping Centers who hold the public’s trust to keep them safe.
The next steps are to identify key personnel and a logical chain of command for emergency communications. A Shopping Center’s tenants and staff will inevitably work extended hours and have several shifts. Make sure you have identified at least a primary and secondary person for important roles to cover any absences or shift changes. Make sure your tenants and staff know who has the authority to make decisions and give orders and who is responsible for sending emergency notifications and other crisis communications.
Once you have established a well-developed emergency and communication plan and identified key personnel, your next steps are training and testing—both of which are vital to the success of your Emergency Action Plan. Your next steps are training and testing—both of which are vital to the success of your Emergency Action Plan. No, that sentence isn’t repeated by accident. I wanted to make sure I had your attention. Training and testing your plans is where most people fail. It is imperative to make sure your plans are understood by your workforce. Your Shopping Center should hold emergency preparedness training for new tenants and regularly schedule refresher training. If possible, set aside a time to hold emergency preparedness drills for reinforcement. As a result, you will be able to see if your plan has any gaps that need to be addressed before a real emergency occurs.
Testing your communication systems goes hand and hand with training. A Mass Notification System is a great complement to a Shopping Center’s Emergency Action Plan and, if used, should be tested for several reasons. First, routine testing helps determine if your contact database is up-to-date. If test messages are undeliverable or have low readership, it may be time to request updated contact information from your tenants and staff. Testing also helps reinforce training and creates awareness about how tenants would receive information during an actual crisis situation.
If your Shopping Center plans to use a Mass Notification System as part of their emergency communication strategy make sure you also hold proper training on the system itself. Identify administrators and designate specific people who will use the system during an emergency. When creating a strategy for a variety of emergency situations, take the time to write pre-loaded messages that correspond with each critical situation. Being able to access pre-written notifications will save you time during an actual disaster. Lastly, plan for post crisis communications as well. Keeping your tenants and staff—and other stakeholders—informed after the emergency will help minimize rumors and keep information flowing.
It will take more than a little time and effort on your part to put together a robust Emergency Action Plan and make critical preparations to ensure you’re ready. The time and effort spent will be worth it—especially if you click on the television one morning to discover a crisis unfolding at your Shopping Center. Life is unpredictable and public places cannot afford to be unprepared. The good news is you can start today. Take a look at or Jonathan Bernstein’s The 10 Steps of Crisis Communications, which outlines critical pre-crisis and post-crisis steps you can apply to your Shopping Center, make the critical preparations I described and you will be on your way.

July 2, 2014

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Retailers That Make Summer Pop

photo 1

Early summer days in New York are bustling as ever. The season is new and everyone is abuzz, enjoying the warm weather outside. For those in the retail industry, this time of the year is perfect for exploring new marketing techniques and launching campaigns that take advantage of the cheerful attitude associated with the summer months. For this reason, it is not surprising that many retailers have realized the value in setting up temporary store locations know as pop-ups.

The Kellogg’s Recharge Bar pop-up shop opened on June 24, 2014, drawing passersby in for the rest of the week with free customizable bowls of cereal. What kept people in the bar after they finished their breakfast were all the interactive, high-tech activities like photo booth karaoke and an app that makes customers look like the star of the cereal boxes. Customers who took to Twitter and Facebook telling their followers about the Recharge Bar won t-shirts if they used the hashtag #CerealAndMilk. Performers like The Roots and dancer Derek Hough were also there to add to the excitement and keep people enthusiastic about the Kellogg’s pop-up.

The pop-up shop concept seems to be successful for food retailers, often opening for short amounts of time and finding plenty of success. UrbanSpace coordinated Madison Square Eats during the month of May and Broadway Bites, which will be open until August 1st. These pop-up markets feature over 25 different retailers with foods from all over the world and tastes for every palate. Stand-alone pop-up shops are successful as well; Cracker Jack had a one-day pop-up location in Herald Square on June 26, and Talenti opened a pop-up shop for its gelato in Bryant Park on June 18. Other pop-up restaurants in the city this summer include Mission Chinese, Eureka, Van Leeuwen ice cream, and more.

Clothing/shoe retailers Everlane, Transience, BucketFeet, Le Moynat have also been popping up around the city and will remain in business for various durations through this summer. The only downside to these fun shops is that you might miss them if you aren’t paying attention! One of the best ways to find pop-up shops in New York is to keep your eyes peeled while walking around the city. Be sure to look for pop ups in your neighborhood this summer.

June 27, 2014

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The ICSC Foundation Diversity Reception at RECon

David LaRue, Gina Love, Charmaine Brown, & Mary Anne Gilmartin

David LaRue, Gina Love, Charmaine Brown, & Mary Anne Gilmartin

This year’s Diversity Reception was a great success at RECon! There were over 300 people who enjoyed the reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvre while mingling with new and old contacts that could share their experiences and views regarding diversity in the real estate and retail communities.  You can find pictures of the event here:

All sponsorships and donations went to the new diversity scholarships that the ICSC Foundation created.  The Love Scholarship for Diversity and the Retail Real Estate Diversity Scholarship. Both are being established to provide tuition assistance to deserving students.  Check back later this fall for more details.

June 25, 2014

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Check Out Retailer Doughnuttery

It is no question that doughnuts are a classic American dessert. While you can find full sized doughnuts almost anywhere, mini doughnuts are becoming an increasingly popular new trend. Miniature, handmade, artisan-crafted doughnuts are exactly what you will find at Doughnuttery, located in the Chelsea Market.

Though the doughnuts are miniscule in size, they are not doughnut holes, but rather a shrunken down micro version of the classic doughnuts Americans have known and loved for years. Doughnuttery specializes in this craft, making all its doughnuts fresh and decorating them on site with over 26 sugars and 5 dipping sauces. Classic flavors like vanilla glazed, powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar are sure to please, while those looking to try something less traditional will be satisfied with quirky flavors like PB&J, Mistletoe (gingerbread, cranberry, sage), and Cheesy Poof (cheddar cheese, corn, jalapeno).

Doughnuttery recently popped up in Madison Square Eats, and is planning to expand soon. While owner Evan Feldman appreciates that Doughnuttery thrives in a nontraditional retail market environment, he is open to exploring all kinds of locations for Doughnuttery’s next locations. The good news is that doughnut machines are efficient and portable, perhaps occupying less space than the pastel-colored sugar jars lining the shelves and counters. This simplifies Doughnuttery’s space criteria, leaving plenty of options open for expansion in the future.

Doughnuttery can be found in the Chelsea Market, or online at its official website.