Store Sizing Issue Heats Up

Retailers can look forward to another good year in the property hunt.

Major new retail developments in New York, including the World Financial Center and World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan, as well as revivals in Los Angeles and Brooklyn, N.Y., offer reason for stores and brands to get excited, according to commercial real estate expert, principal and CEO Laura Pomerantz of namesake firm Laura Pomerantz Real Estate, at a press conference Tuesday on top trends for the year.

Among the insights shared, Pomerantz said that square footage is a current topic among her clients. 

“Stores are looking for the right size,” said Pomerantz. “When you reduce size you can stop spending as much on inventory, and employees and rent start moving to cover more geographic areas.”

Pomerantz said that reducing the footprint doesn’t just save money but often helps to better merchandise a location and keep product current in the eyes of shoppers. As examples, she cited Ted Baker and Scoop NYC, which recently started looking for locations at or below 3,000 square feet.

Technology also continues to impact retail real estate. Though more businesses are moving online, brick-and-mortar stores will continue to be relevant, Pomerantz argued. Malls, in particular, are investing heavily in digital tracking software to better configure layouts and enhance the visitor experience.

While many malls still struggle to find ways to increase traffic, Pomerantz said properties that bring in hot retailers such as Tory Burch, Sephora and Rag & Bone, and that have plenty of lifestyle brands will be more successful. She hailed recent developments by Westfield Group LLC and Simon Property Group.

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