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California  + Los Angeles  + Retail  | 
Connect Retail West 2022: For Retailers, The Recession is On, But Optimism Prevails

For Retailers, The Recession is On, But Optimism Prevails

Retail experts gathered at Connect Retail West 2022, a one-day conference at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles, Wednesday, to discuss the state of retail. There was a dark cloud lingering over the enthusiasm such as the capital markets wall, retail space, the office market, a shrinking workforce, and of course a recession, which most agreed we are in, and will result in a tough 2023 for some retailers. But nonetheless, spirits were high as data and analysis points to an uptick in retail.

While most of the discussion were focused on trends in the market, it seemed the possible Kroeger-Albertson merger was on some people’s minds and what impact it could have on the grocery and grocery-anchored market. Indeed, while some panelists disagreed on whether the merger would or would not happen, most agreed the merger would be impactful.

On the Amazon front, which was seen by some as the death knell in the bricks and mortar of retail, all on the panel dispelled that prediction as retail continues to make forward strides. It was pointed out by Meghann Martindale, head of research for Madison Marquette, that they are definitely seeing good things in retail. She noted that Madison Marquette’s current portfolio, which is about 30 retail assets in addition to other mixed-use property, is back to 2019 levels of traffic and sales.

The panels included, moderator Lorena Tomb, CEO and founder of Urbanlime Real Estate, who headed the first discussion along with Martindale, Matt Berger, EVP and president of the West Region of Brixmor Property Group; Jim Dillavou, co-founder and principal of Paragon Commercial Group and Sandy Sigal, chairman, CEO and president of Newmark Merrill Companies.

The second panel was a Market Update on neighborhood and Hispanic focused retail and included Michelle R. Lagos, associate at Allen Matkins, who was the moderator, Arturo Sneider, CEO of Primestor Development and Carl Middleton, president of Northgate Gonzalez Real Estate.

The third panel, A Conversation with Retailers, was moderated by Connect VP Sarah Quinn and included John Klein, CEO of Pause Studios; Dave Cheatham, President of Velocity Retail and Mark J. Miller, VP, Real Estate & Construction of The Joint Chiropractic.

The final panel, Investing, Leasing and Transacting: Getting Deals Done Now, was moderate by Shauna Smith, VP of national accounts for Chicago Title; Jace Bertges, VP of PGIM Real Estate; Barry G. Edwards, partner, Greenberg Glusker and Matt Sebree, VP West Coat, Simon Property Group.

ConnectCRE will have more from Retail West 2022 in the coming days.

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Inside The Story

About Erik Hamilton

Erik Hamilton, who has more than 15 years in CRE journalism, is a former staff writer with the Los Angeles Times and the Orange County Business Journal. In addition to The Times and the OCBJ, he was also a reporter and editor for Crittenden Research, The San Bernardino Sun and UPI. Erik also worked six years in CRE public relations with Los Angeles-based Hoyt Organization, where he was a Senior Account Executive. He later joined Lee & Associates where he served as the Director of Corporate Communications. There ,in addition to his work with Lee’s CEO, he managed 57 offices nationwide and provided PR, social media and media training for the offices. A graduate of UC Irvine, with a BA in history, he is an avid record collector where he continues to search for a rare Joy Division single.

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