ICSC Convention Reveals Bustling Retail Developments

By Allan Levine
The recent International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) convention on retail real estate in many ways demonstrated how shopping malls are changing and business is bustling.

News reports about mall closings needs to be balanced with the understanding that new “lifestyle centers” are attracting the next generation of consumers and different kinds of retail tenants.

Instead of seeing big clothing stores as anchors at successful shopping centers today, one finds stores like Wegmans grocery and larger restaurants, barber shops, banks, health and fitness venues, as well as lawn and garden shops.







Madison’s new booth. See other pictures from the event at ICSC Facebook.

This is a big convention every year. I was impressed, as always, to hear about current trends in the U.S. and abroad. This ICSC event is particularly valuable as a networking opportunity since our financing company has served this niche for more than 40 years.

One of our clients, Foundary Row in Owings Mills, Md., is a prime example of the new mall concept, advertising itself as “a destination for fun, fashion and flavor.” We’re financing everything from holiday décor to maintenance vehicles, as well as equipment that retail tenants will lease as needed, rather than be saddled with ownership.

Another disrupter widely reported in the news is the impact of Internet shopping, but stores are responding. Some are reducing square footage and inventory to showcase fewer items, then help customers place an online order from the store. There are still many items people want to see and touch.

Allan Levine
Partner, Madison Capital