The Housing Chronicles Blog: June column for Builder & Developer magazine now online

Friday, June 20, 2014

June column for Builder & Developer magazine now online

My column for the June 2014 issue of Builder and Developer magazine is now posted online.

For this issue, entitled "The Changing Face of Retail Forces Developers to Adapt," I wanted to revisit mixed-use communities (especially residential/retail) and how developers are having to adapt to the changes in the way that retailers serve their customers. An excerpt:

Today, many retailers are reducing their footprints, boosting their online presence and merchandising fewer products in their stores to avoid “showrooming,” in which customers compare products in person but buy them online. As a result, the future of the mixed-use project is also in flux, with the winners and losers likely to be determined based mostly on how well developers match retail stores with local and visitor demographics...
In the short run, businesses which can’t be replaced by online shopping – such as health clubs, yoga studios, doctor’s offices and restaurants – can take up some the slack, but in the long run the very idea of the traditional retail store is being challenged.
Not surprisingly, these changes are also impacting the types of smaller, mixed-use projects encouraged by cities, but often leave absorption of the retail space to the whims of the market as well as the marketing expertise of the local broker. So far, there seem to be two ways to goose retail demand: appeal to specific demographics or create an in-person experience unavailable online...
To read the entire column, click here.

To read the entire June 2014 issue in digital format, click here.

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