Retail West: Retail Continues to Navigate in Rough Waters
In a conversation with retailers, John Klein, CEO of Pause Studios, Dave Cheatham, president of Velocity Retail and Mark J. Miller, vice president of Real Estate & Construction of The Joint Chiropractic, joined moderator Connect VP Sarah Quinn, for a panel discussion at Connect Retail West 2022, a one-day conference at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel in Los Angeles on November 9th.
The questions about growth before, during and post Covid, in addition to supply chain and construction costs, the work force—hiring and retaining employees–was on the minds of these retailers. The panelist all had their Covid stories, echoing the toll the pandemic took on retail. But as we start coming through to the other side, how will retail evolve and survive? “You have to fight for more TI. You manage the best you can, which is where we are today, and pass those costs through to the consumer, which is what everybody’s done on global basis over the last 24 months. Our expansion plans are still in place, however, our biggest delays are on the landlord side. But we’re not slowing down and we are fortunate where we are today,” said Miller.
For Cheatham, the big question is how retail can grow in a changing work force. “I think our challenge is hiring and training men and women to run our stores,” he said, noting that two years of Covid was a major impact on the mindset of the working force. “I’ve never seen anything like this before. Changing hours, different type of worker. Fast food is dying, six-week turnover with workers. We have a reactive perfect storm with younger kids and working from home. Yes, the labor thing is an absolute crippler.”
In regard to the supply chain, Klein pointed to the Fed and how it will most likely react. “The fed will do anything they have to do to fix this, and I believe it will correct itself. But 2022 remains painful and it will possibly continue through 2023.”
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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