Just like Spring Training in February, every May the International Council of Shopping Centers hosts their largest convention of the year in Las Vegas: ICSC RECon. Having attended this event for more than a decade, it’s become something we look forward to every year.
Not surprisingly, when the economy declined, the number of attendees dwindled. Developers & brokers were more conservative, and not a lot of meetings or conversations were taking place about portfolio expansion. This year, something was different. The attendance level was higher than it had been. Conversations were more positive and upbeat. A number of the other attendees seemed to be in agreement [as noted in the video].
More notably, leasehold discussions were the top priority, according to the people we had conversations with. We were told:
“I want a new store.”
“I want a bigger store.”
“I simply want a new location.”
Further strengthening this conviction of growth, last week’s same store sales numbers from the ICSC indicate an increase (notwithstanding the cooler weather negatively affecting seasonal sales).
We expect that the next major uptick will be in the warehouse and industrial sector as demand for nearby storage and logistics facilities to restock the retail shops increases. Early signs of this bump are already being seen in regions as diverse as Las Vegas and Miami.
All in all, it was a successful conference and provided a positive atmosphere in a sector that has experienced some very recent lows. We’re looking forward to ICSC NY in December.
What signs of recovery are you seeing?