Friday, January 4th, 2019 January4th2019

Sell for More News: Retail’s “new normal” is here

Published on January 4th, 2019

Sell for More News is a weekly blog series with interesting information from the world of commercial real estate.


It’s official…you’re no longer allowed to say the words “retail apocalypse.”  It turns out there will be a place for brick and mortar stores in our future after all.

Over the last three years, thousands of stores shuttered and dozens of companies went bankrupt. Companies like Toys R Us, Gymboree, Payless, Wet Seal, The Limited, HH Gregg, Radio Shack, Gordmans, Gander Mountain, Claire’s, Aeropostale, Sports Authority, and Bon-ton to name a few.

Fortunately, 2018 didn’t turn out to be nearly as painful as 2017. In 2018, about half as many stores closed as the year before.  2018 also saw startups experimenting with their own take on stores.  And large real estate companies got serious about rethinking how malls should be designed.

In 2019, we predict that property owners, brands and consumers will settle into a new normal with stores.  Digital and physical shopping will get more seamless.

For example, many startups have recognized that stores can be a huge asset because they have the power to deepen the customer’s relationship with the brand.  Look for that that trend to continue.  Many will leverage pop-up shops (which are here to stay).  Casper, for example, has announced plans to open 200 stores.

The key to understanding this “new normal” is understanding that these stores won’t look like stores you found in malls of the past. Instead, they’ll be designed to complement the digital experience.  They’ll be small.  They’ll hold very little inventory. Brands expect customers to come into the store to check out products, but purchase the product online.  And many brands will also use the stores as a place to forge a strong sense of community by hosting talks, parties, and other gatherings there.

Also, look for brands to make it easier to buy products and services directly on social media. Expect more imagery with a clear call to action like…swipe up to purchase the product.

In conclusion, expect retailers to drive customers to their website and to use brick and mortar stores to enhance the experience.  They’ll also increasingly focus on making sales directly through social media.  Retail is far from dead…it’s just transforming.


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About Beau Beach, CCIM

Beau is a tenacious Commercial Real Estate Broker, author and adoring father of four. His clients appreciate his no-nonsense demeanor and his legendary work ethic.

Beau leads Prowess IRES which is a commercial real estate broker for sellers in the Nashville, Milwaukee, South Florida and Chicago markets.

He’s the author of the books The 3 Reasons: Why Most Commercial Properties Don’t Sell and True Wealth: What Every Seller Should Know About 1031 Exchanges.

Beau can be reached at 414.324.4938, 615.603.9770, click to schedule a call or