ICSC Convention Brings Optimism for Retail Sector Recovery
Colliers International and the Retail Services Group made a big splash at this year’s ICSC RECon convention in Las Vegas, May 20–23. More than 260 Colliers professionals attended– a record number for this event. Total conference attendance exceeded 30,000. An estimated 1,000+ business development meetings were held in our booth and others, making this a highly productive event. Colliers hosted a national retail meeting and reception to kick-off the event, as well as several client events, including a cocktail pool party that attracted nearly 1,000 people, complete with entertainment by Cirque de Soleil.
“The attendance and activity at this year’s ICSC Convention was excellent, said Gregg Broujos, Managing Director and Founding Principal at Colliers International | Pittsburgh. “I think that the brisk activity and increased attendance bodes well for the retail sector in the coming years. Not that retailers are going to recklessly expand, but they seem to want to increase their presence in many of the stronger markets. On the investor side, there continues to be strong demand for bricks and mortar investments, although there is not a lot of inventory for investors to choose from. All in all, we could not be more optimistic about the retail sector recovery. The Colliers International booth was jammed packed, and the mood was fantastic.”
CoStar reported the more than 30,000 attendees at the annual three-day event included commercial real estate leasing and investment brokers, developers, retailers, lenders and other shopping center professionals. And while a heightened sense of optimism about the improving market was felt among most, the enthusiasm was tempered by the realism forged during several years of diminished activity, along with a recovery that’s far weaker than the recovery following the previous down cycle a decade ago. One major topic of discussion was the lack of new development activity during this recovery. The dearth of new supply has resulted in a constrained environment for buyers as the existing supply of core retail assets is absorbed by tenants.
“The ICSC show this year was a huge success,” said Brad Kelly, Director of Retail Services at Colliers International | Pittsburgh. “I have not seen traffic like this year for several years and the mood was very positive. It seems clear to me that the retail recovery is in full swing and the Pittsburgh market is no exception. I had conversations with retailers that are not currently in our market and they told me that Pittsburgh is in their short term plans for expansion. Conventions like ICSC are a great way for us to tell the story of Pittsburgh, and this year the message was well received”