In a recent interview, Kimco Realty President and CIO Ross Cooper discussed retail trends and strategies amid the pandemic and highlighted the potential for shopping centers in 2021. Ross notes that the retail store is the most cost-effective distribution model when coupled with curbside and in-store pickup of online orders. Buying online with in-store pickup sales have surged over 200% from a year ago. Ross believes that retailers embracing this strategy will be very successful in 2021 and beyond.
Further insights from Ross:
- The mix of essential retail, everyday goods and services, and the experiential component (food and beverage, health and wellness, and entertainment) is the winning mix at the end of the day.
- The future of physical retail is open-air shopping centers. This trend started well before the pandemic and is here to stay. The end goal is for the retailer to capture the consumer in the most efficient way and retailers want outside exposure to their stores.
- Top metropolitan statistical areas across the country will continue to see strong tenant demand, Kimco sold all its secondary and tertiary market locations, thereby taking advantage of the highest and best use of the property in densely populated areas.
- “An attribute of our properties that lends itself to this strategy is the vast parking fields that are non-income producing and provide densification opportunities.”
- “While I do not have a crystal ball, I don’t think we’ll ever go back exactly to the way things were and that’s okay! Change is constant and Kimco is prepared to adapt to the times.”