Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

Change Agents – 2017 ICSC Florida conference

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Franklin Street's Greg Matus says the 2017 ICSC Florida conference was one of the most active retail shows he's seen in the past decade.

Excerpted from Business Observer article.

Is traditional retail dead? On life support? Crumbling under the seemingly unstoppable juggernaut that is Amazon?

Not according to experts and participants at this year’s International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) annual Florida confab, in Orlando.

Instead, they argue that change is a constant force in retail and has always been, and that it is a force that can be harnessed and used to one’s advantage.

But while the retail industry may be facing headwinds, the ICSC conference appeared in full swing.

Katy Welsh, a Colliers International senior vice president who chaired the group’s program planning committee, says attendance hit a record 5,000 last month, up from 4,600 in 2016.

The number of exhibitors and retailers set records, too.

“Our numbers are back to pre-recession levels of 2007 and 2008,” Welsh says.

Greg Matus, a senior vice president of investment sales with Tampa-based brokerage firm Franklin Street, agrees.

“I’ve been here for the past 10 years, and this is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, show I have ever seen,” he says. “It reminds me a lot of the peak of the last cycle. There’s more capital chasing deals, there are a lot of deals being done on the floor here, and retailers are expanding and there are a lot of new companies out there.”

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