2013 ULI Trends Day Arizona Recap – Part 8 – Retail Panel

Following the Office/Industrial Panel was the Retail Panel. Key characters from this group were: Judi Butterworth, Velocity Retail Group; Mike Ebert, RED Development; Sam Fox, Fox Restaurant Group; moderated by David Larcher, Vestar.

Optimism seemed to be the tone of this group. 2012 was the start of the turnaround for Retail. The two key indicators are Employment Growth and Housing.

Here are a few of the bullet points:

  • 8% increase in retail sales from 2011 to 2012
  • 2M SF was absorbed in 2012
  • Big difference between A/B vs C/D properties. C/D Retail properties may never be retail again after becoming vacant
  • 2012 there was over 12K new retail stores opened and 3k retail stores closed
  • Projects will be smaller this next development cycle
  • Future of C/B Malls is redevelopment to other uses. Examples: Borgata – Senior Hoursing; Town & Country – mixture of apartments; Metro Center Mall – new owners plan to change the use
  • Competing against the internet – retailers are focused on the experience
  • Big Boxes – new users are fitness related, petfood, grooming, value oriented retailers
  • Companies with company loyalty programs are 80% more successful
  • Movie Theaters have had the best 2 years
  • Outlet Centers – impact is destination focused and now they are coming into town and want to be in prime shopping areas. 13-14 will open across the country in 2013
  • Phoenix is no longer “permanently damaged” – Mike Ebert.
  • 2005-2007 – cap rate compression occurred. Now, A properties are back to those prices and cap rates again (6%)
  • Oak Tree Management name Phoenix as a Top 5 Market

Sam Fox currently has 13 different restaurant concepts.

  • He focuses on unique, one of a kind properties
  • Focused on buying vs leasing now
  • Looks at the “soul” of the neighborhood
  • Most of the growth will be outside of AZ in 2013

If you are there, what did you takeaway?