The State of Retail Real Estate in 2023

June 13, 2023

COHN reports from ICSC Las Vegas 2023

ICSC Las Vegas is an event unlike any other in our industry, and this year’s conference did not disappoint. Our founder and CEO Jeff Cohn, as well as our Director of Strategic Partnerships Chris Thomas, attended ICSC Las Vegas 2023 in May to explore the ever-evolving world of retail real estate and its exciting future.

By all accounts, there was a charged sense of anticipation this year. As always, people from various backgrounds showcased their tradeshow-best, as they sought the next groundbreaking deal. And like so many professionals at ICSC Las Vegas, Jeff and Chris relished the time to reconnect with old friends and clients across the gigantic footprint of the Las Vegas Convention Center, while forging new connections, as well.

Industry professionals were very open about their perspectives on the current state of the industry and offered valuable insights to the COHN team.

What we learned from ICSC Las Vegas 2023

The economy is turning a corner

The retail real estate industry, like any other, is not immune to the influence of macroeconomic factors. The looming possibility of a recession, failing banks, soaring inflation rates, and historically high-interest rates have left their mark on the sector. Major banks have become more cautious, resulting in delays for developers awaiting project financing.

Consequently, developers are increasingly exploring partnerships with smaller, local financial institutions that align with their needs. Moreover, sourcing construction labor and operational staffing has continued to be a significant challenge. Despite these hurdles, owners, operators, and developers express a sense of turning the corner from the pandemic’s aftermath, as they witness a resurgence in consumer-driven demand for brick-and-mortar retail.

Notably, Chris and Jeff engaged with property owners and developers who are working on Class-A, ground-up retail projects that promise substantial benefits to the communities they serve.

Brand-driven marketing is still in demand

The success of new retail spaces relies heavily on effective marketing and branding efforts that resonate with local governments, retailers, and consumers. At COHN, we prioritize a brand-first approach, positioning ourselves as an agency that can transform the developer’s vision into reality.

Our strategic brand positioning and world-class creative solutions ensure that your space gains the recognition it deserves, capturing the imagination of its target audience. With our expertise in real estate developer marketing, we can help you reach your marketing goals and drive results in the competitive retail market.

ESG is not going anywhere

Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) considerations have become paramount for companies, both large and small, as they strive to align their practices with their values. At COHN, we recognize the significance of ESG in retail real estate marketing and offer insights, experience, and knowledge to help companies navigate these areas effectively. Whether you require an ESG roadmap for messaging or creative solutions that resonate internally and externally, our team is well-equipped to overcome any roadblocks you may encounter. Let’s initiate a conversation and unlock the potential together.

Retail continues to flourish

Overall, the retail real estate marketplace has exhibited remarkable strength and resilience. This resurgence is primarily due to the unwavering commitment and long-term vision of the developers and owner-operators who form its foundation. By creating vibrant spaces that fuel community growth and staying attuned to evolving consumer demands, these industry leaders continue to shape a thriving marketplace.

ICSC Las Vegas 2023 provided a captivating glimpse into the dynamic world of retail real estate. Jeff and Chris, along with the entire COHN team, are energized by the opportunities that lie ahead. Despite the challenges posed by macroeconomic factors, the retail real estate industry is poised for success.

If you’d like to learn more about our experience at ICSC 2023, contact our team to schedule a call with our founder, Jeff Cohn or download our Marketing Capabilities deck.



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