January 19, 2016 | Dan Rafter | REJournals.com
It’s been predicted for years now, the demise of the brick-and-mortar retailer. But while consumers do continue to flock to the Internet for their purchases, brick-and-mortar stores seem to have regained their own momentum. JoAnn McGuiness, chief operating officer of Oak Brook, Illinois-based Inland Real Estate Income Trust, Inc., shared her thoughts on the future of traditional retailers. Here is what this commercial real estate veteran had to say. It’s been a long, uphill battle for brick-and-mortar retailers, but recent sales data is actually quite promising – can you elaborate on this? It was a great holiday season, and according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), 91 percent of shoppers made a purchase at a brick-and-mortar store. We are also finding that the holiday season is beginning to start earlier, around early November, and last until January 31, so the dollars are spread out over a larger period of time. ICSC also reported that 50 percent of consumers received a gift card this year, many of which have yet to be redeemed. Gift cards are not accounted for in the holiday sales numbers until they are redeemed, so they typically show up in the January and February data.
The well-attended Blue Vault session at the recent National Planning Holdings National Conference was very well received. The value of their products was evidenced by the volume of questions from the attendees. Stacy Chitty, Managing Partner, did an excellent job of explaining the history, strategy and value of Blue Vault data.