Cushman & Wakefield’s Garrick Brown runs down retail intel at MSCA gathering

By: Adam Rae Voge

Garrick Brown, vice president of retail research for Cushman & Wakefield Americas, braved the cold weather of early 2017 to deliver his outlook for the year at the January meeting of the Minnesota Shopping Center Association.garrick_500px

Garrick, a San Diego native known as the Retail Wizard, shared his latest insight on where the retail market is going, how the recent presidential election might impact retailers, and more in the address, at the St. Louis Park DoubleTree hotel.

The speech was moderated by Director Deb Carlson.

Among Garrick’s insights: larger chain stores continue to struggle with how to stay competitive and appealing, especially to younger, millennial shoppers. That crowd tends to favor concepts such as Shinola, which seek to make each location and shopping experience unique from others in its chain. It has increasingly become an “evolve or die” marketplace, with brands turning to alternative lines, such as a Nordstrom Rack or Macy’s Backstage.

Garrick also noted that restaurants continue to be major movers and shakers in the retail world, with new concepts popping up all the time. But that also means many restaurants will close this year, as competitors jockey for position.

In the world of established retailers, Macy’s, The Gap and Sears are among the major brands facing rough times. Garrick told the MSCA crowd that store closures in 2016 were the highest he’s tracked since 2010, going back through about 20 years of data. As struggling chains find new ownership, they could find new life, but that also means more closures could be yet to come.

Garrick also delivered plenty of good news to MSCA members.

The “barbell of prosperity” continues for retailers on either end of the pricing spectrum — luxury retailers and discounters. Those brands, he said, are driving interesting activity for retail properties as they push back agains the highest rents in favor of well-located Class B properties.

Will 2017 bring the “death of the mall”? Not so fast, said Garrick, calling that notion “just stupid.” Most of the last 200 malls that closed in the U.S. were simply recategorized to power centers or another type of retail shopping center, trading an anchor for repurposed space.

In all, Garrick said he expects another active, headline-heavy year of retail news, both in Minneapolis and around the country.

Interested in more retail insights from Garrick? Follow @retailwizard on Twitter​! ​​

Orange Is the New Green: Halloween Spending Doubles Since 2009


Cushman & Wakefield Research unearthed spooktacular stats showing consumers are snapping up more pet costumes and Hershey’s Kisses than ever for 2016’s Halloween celebration.

And spending for the scariest day of the year has nearly doubled since 2009 to $8.4 billion.

Click here or the graphic to the right to access our infographic and learn more!


Cushman & Wakefield – the Center of Retail

Almost 3,000 real estate professionals attended the annual Chicago Deal Making session last week, and many of them from Cushman & Wakefield’s offices in Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, St. Louis, New York, Milwaukee, and even Glen Allen, Virginia.  Our booth was buzzing with many meetings and conversations as we met with current and prospective clients. 

 Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq was well represented, along with our United Properties colleagues.   Tom Martin, Minneapolis broker, said “I always find this conference worth my time, making good connections that come back to me throughout the year.”   Skip Melin, a Minneapolis Capital Markets broker,  echoed this, stating “the conversations I have in Chicago help me expand my network, and my business.”   Deb Carlson, another Minneapolis transaction broker,  found this year’s conference to be particularly helpful in meeting with retailers on moving current deals forward.  “It was great”, she said, “to be able to put my Philadephia based client together with potential national retailers from around the country together to work through issues to get deals done.”

 And of course the best part of the day was the Cushman & Wakefield client party, held this year at Bar Siena in downtown Chicago.  By all accounts, everyone had a great time, with lovely food and drinks, conversation, and a great Cub’s ball game on the tv!  Wins all around!

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Supervalu Sells Save-A-Lot for $1.365 billion


MarketWatch is reporting this morning that Supervalu is selling its Save-A-Lot business to the Canadian private equity group Onex Corporation for $1.365 billion.   Supervalu will continue to supply Save-A-Lot with product as part of a five-year professional services agreement.   This will include more than 1,300 stores around the country, the majority of locations being owned by licensees.  


What will happen with Sears and KMarts?


CNN Money today is quoting the Sears CEO Eddie Lampert who wrote on their corporate blog this Monday that frequent reports about KMarts demise are “false and exaggerated”, and there are “no plans and there have never been any plans to close the Kmart format”.  Of course, he then went on to concede that some unprofitable KMarts stores will be closed, with 78 locations announced for closure last April.  This blog post was on the heels of Moodys reporting last month that it was particularly concerned about “the viability of the Kmart franchise”.   And piling on last week was ratings agency Fitch naming Sears as one of several retailers that could soon default on its debt. 

 Sears IS predicting continued sales deline (as has been happening annually since 2005) , and analysts expect sales to keep declining at both Sears and Kmart stores in the foreseeable future.   Lampert did say last spring that it may sell three of its most well-known brands – Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, and looking for “strategic alternatives” for its Home Services installation and repair businesses.  And some of that strategy appears to be in play, with Bloomberg announcing yesterday that Stanley Black & Decker was among the bidders for Craftsman.    

 Store counts today stand at approximately 900 KMarts and 700 Sears stores.




IDS gets Nordstrom Rack


Nordstrom continues to expand their Rack format here in Minnesota with a new 40,000 sf location planned for the IDS Center.  NR will take over the space on the Crystal Court formerly occupied by Gap, plus some additional space in the basement level.  The store is projected to open in the fall of 2017.  Andrea Christenson of Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq represents IDS, Mike Sims of Mid-America represents NR. 


More restaurants going dark

Lots of restaurants closing this summer here in the Twin Cities, and rumors are flying around about more coming:

  • Salt Celler closed in St. Paul on July 30.   Owners say they are going to renovate and reopen with a new concept under the same name.
  • Café Levain has closed in Minneapolis on Chicago Avenue.
  • Trattoria Tosca closed in Linden Hills.
  • The Pilgrimage Café closed on 38th Street in Minneapolis
  • Kaskaid Hospitality closed Zio Italian at MOA, converting it to a Cowboy Jacks in October with a partnership with The After Midnight Group.  They closed Salsa a la Salsa, and will convert it to Game Sports Bar.