Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

Contact Sport

I was in Las Vegas this week for the International Council of Shopping Center’s RECon event, what some may say is “The Super Bowl of Retail.” While the attendance was down this year, I see every May as a chance to learn a few more tricks and trends, and more importantly, to visit with people I don’t see all that often. As someone said to me, “Building relationships is a contact sport.”

A few takeaways:

Retail that thrives will be more creative, innovative and responsive to the market. There is so much new A I out there, along with emerging specialty retailers and innovation platforms that together will transform the landscape.

Leases aren’t what they used to be. Remember the flagship lease that was once considered the gold standard? No longer. It’s now about short, flexible leases, as long as the LL can get the financing.

Evaluating good rooftops is getting easier and faster. From cell phone pings to credit card charges, data collection is fueling changes.

As we walked the floor, I also enjoyed seeing a few new products. I think I’m sold on a Byton when they launch in the US, which will make even more sense as the Electrify America campaign continues to make progress.

Until next year, Las Vegas.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.