Beyond the Build

Construction Trends

We Cannot Change the Wind, But We Can Adjust the Sails

I just returned from the ICSC ReCON conference in Las Vegas, which some refer to as “the Super Bowl of real estate.” About 40,000 from the industry attended, and I found a sense of resilience and optimism.

Now more than ever, bricks and mortar businesses are competing with pure Internet sales to create the ultimate omni-channel experience. Success translates to customer loyalty.

A few takeaways from the conference:

  • New shiny new projects are in the works. If they redirect existing shopping patterns, this will have implications as well, beyond just retail.
  • Empty space is being backfilled at a slow but steady pace.
  • Online sales are changing. Omni channel software developments are pushing people back into stores,  to order for home delivery, because they want to see what they found on the web, or just to be social.
  • Average store size will continue to decrease, largely because of smaller inventory facilitated by fulfillment centers, which at times are the stores themselves.
  • Mandatory energy operating cost benchmarking is on the rise, which will require annual measure and public disclosure of energy consumption. The goal is for us to become better stewards and in process reduce costs and do good for the consumer.
Merrill Stewart Jr.

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