The mall experts see lots of opportunities every time another retailer closes its doors.Success in many different industries can sometimes come down to a simple matter of perspective. Where others see obstacles that are far too great to be overcome, others see opportunity hidden within the weeds. As Real Estate Weekly shares, that was the perspective offered up by these retail experts during a panel discussion at New York Law School this week.
The panel was discussing the future of retail. While it’s quite obvious that some serious changes are afoot, the experts offered up an overriding perspective of optimism on what lays ahead.
“Clearly there are challenges out there for retailers and landlords, but the press obviously loves a good story, and a good story is about store closures and dead malls. And whether that’s reality or not is a totally different question. To say it’s a time of change is really what it is,” Peter Schwartz, senior executive vice president and general counsel of Westfield Corporation.
Schwartz points out that his company as a whole sees an uptick in traffic, and opportunity continues to sprout every time another retailer closes its doors.
“It’s a changing environment, there’s a lot going on with department stores and the mall side of the business. For us, these stores closing, it’s an opportunity. Taking out a dead store - they’re only closing stores that aren’t doing well - creates an opportunity for us. We think it’s a great environment,” he continued.
Susan Kurland, co-head and executive vice president of the global real estate services group at Savills Studley, concurred that the retail landscape is changing, but she was quick to point out that retailers that are willing to adapt to the times may end up being quite pleased with the end results.
“Because the online shopping is an issue, bricks and mortar isn’t going away, but the successful retailers are going to have to understand and learn how to integrate the two of those to be successful,” she said.
Add it all up, and the panel concluded that some of the gloomy stories making the rounds on the future of brick-and-mortar retail have been vastly overblown. The retail landscape is certainly changing, but it remains alive and well.
“It’s not all an ugly situation, it’s a changing market, not only from a real estate price perspective but the structure of retail itself is changing,” Kurland continued.