LAS VEGAS—“Each year, RECon provides an excellent platform for us to connect with other industry professionals to discuss the evolution and future of retail, especially experiential retail,” explains Scott Acton, founder and CEO at Forté Specialty Contractors. He tells GlobeSt.com that, “As someone whose career has been centered on creating unique user environments it is exciting to see the multi-sensory experience become more prevalent in the retail sector. In order to capture today’s consumer, developers and retailers need to curate an authentic and immersive environment with unique design aspects that will attract consumers and leave them coming back for more.”
Shaun Riley, senior managing director at Faris Lee Investments out of Irvine, CA, tells GlobeSt.com that the physical adaptation of retail centers seems to be a discussion point he is frequently having with clients. “I would expect these same conversations to be ‘top of the list’ items for property owners.”
Riley is excited to reconnect with clients and industry colleagues. “There are many factors affecting the retail industry right now, probably more than ever before, and gaining a better understanding of how these factors affects value and investor perception going forward is very important.”
What Riley is looking forward to is obtaining investor feedback on several value-add and repositioning opportunities that he is currently working on. “Each investor has different underwriting and varying business plans, which requires meeting with as many investors as possible to gain the best understanding on how the offerings are being received by the market.”
For Spencer Bomar, a principal in the Avison Young Atlanta office, his team is looking forward to continuing to expand Avison Young’s international brand awareness. “I would expect this show to follow the trend of cautiously approaching a pre-recession feel.”
Bomar also tells GlobeSt.com that Recon is the only event that he attends throughout the year where “we work so incredibly hard, get so much done in such a short period of time, yet have so much fun doing it. How can you no forward to that?”
And the leasing team of Starwood Retail Partners is booked solid to discuss opportunities for its 30 malls and lifestyle centers. “We are taking a record number of our staff,” Chelsie Petereit, VP of marketing, tells GlobeSt.com.
“What we’re really looking forward to is finding those new retailers who’ll help us as we are reimagining properties, from adding office space to centers such as The Shops at Willow Bend and Fairlane Town Center, to entertainment experiences at Willow Bend,” Petereit says. “We’re dedicated to innovative leasing, and there’s no better place than RECon to find new ideas and new tenants. In addition to the many leasing meetings already planned, we’re excited that the educational program is reflecting the changes we’re seeing — and that we’re implementing at our 30 malls and lifestyle centers. Focuses [are] on restaurant strategies, mixed-use environments and retail’s future show that this is an industry that looks ahead. We’re excited to be a part of that.”