Recon Speakers Tackle Retail’s Tough Issues (Commercial Property Executive)

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At a time of rapid change and looming uncertainty for retail real estate, experts at RECon wasted no time before tackling the industry’s biggest issues during the first day of the International Council of Shopping Centers’ annual convention in Las Vegas.

The issue ahead is “how are we going to make the retail supply that we’re planning and projecting and built and received somehow match the retail spending that we have,” asserted Heather Arnold, director of research and analysis for Streetsense.

Speaking to a packed ballroom at the Westgate Hotel on Sunday afternoon, she cited the U.S.’s inventory of some 23 square feet of retail space per resident, about twice as much as Canada and triple the size of Europe’s market. Bringing the U.S. supply into equilibrium would require repurposing or demolishing at least 1 billion square feet of the 13 billion-square-foot U.S. retail market, she pointed out.

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