In a video interview recently featured in Commercial Property Executive, HSA Commercial Real Estate Vice Chairman and CEO Bob Smietana discusses the rapid changes in retail real estate and shopping center development in response to demographic shifts and the impact of e-commerce.
While many of the recent headlines about retail real estate seem to suggest that the financial struggles plaguing retailers such as a Sears or Bon-Ton are indicative of a fundamental problem in retail as a whole, Bob believes that retailers and shopping centers that have a compelling value proposition to the customer have a bright future. In fact, Bob suggests that shopping centers–such as HSA Commercial’s Mayfair Collection development in Wauwatosa, Wis.–that are in regional locations with a dynamic mix of local restaurants, luxury apartments, and an upscale hotel will create the type of exciting environment that gets customers out of their computer chairs and into the stores.
“Brick-and-mortar shopping centers that have a reason to exist and a reason to visit by the consumer will survive and will likely thrive,” Bob says in the interview. “The [shopping centers] that integrate the live, work, stay, and play will do well in the future.”
One of the key anchor tenants at The Mayfair Collection, Whole Foods Market, created a lot of news in 2017 when it was announced that the popular organic grocery chain had been acquired by e-commerce giant Amazon. Since that acquisition occured, there has been intense media focus given to the influence of Amazon on the Whole Foods business model and the integration of the two brands, and customers have seemingly enjoyed some of the price reductions and product offerings instituted by Amazon. According to Bob, this is an example of how e-commerce retailers are likely to utilize brick-and-mortar stores in the future to better serve and interact with consumers.
“Right now, there’s a real distinction: either you’re a e-commerce retailer or you’re a bricks-and-mortar retailer,” Smietana says. “In the future, we are going to see that integration much more that it’s going to be transparent between e-commerce and bricks-and-mortar, and the percentage of sales of e-commerce will go up, but we think that the overall sales will continue to go up as well.”
There are plenty of exciting new developments and leases planned for 2018 at The Mayfair Collection and HSA Commercial Real Estate’s other retail projects throughout the Midwest. Stay tuned to our website for more project news and updates!
To watch the entire video interview with Bob Smietana, please visit our YouTube page: https://youtu.be/Rui6TbJzlP0