Retail Trend Lines and Insights

dstMacy’s stock is up this morning. Their physical market presence is predictably down.

Do not buy their stock just yet. Wait until Macy’s closes nearly 100 stores in what is now regarded as the biggest red flag in retail merchandising since the market crash of 2008.

The retail segment of the CRE market has been flipped over and is shaking out. There’s more change coming as digital consumers and their shopping habits continue to shape the retail industry’s commitment to bricks-and-mortar operations.

Our behaviors are transforming some of the most renown retail establishments in the nation. In the end, the change will make them better because it is customer-driven.

Small is the New Big

We are going to see retailers continue to shrink their physical presence within all trade areas as small becomes the new big, where bits and bytes become modern transaction currency.

For me, the tightening of operating costs and the reduction in square footage is making a lot of sense in a world driven by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and the entire spectrum of millisecond communications. And, I have not even mentioned Amazon’s 30% per year growth rate each year for more than a decade straight.

Let’s remind ourselves that Apple sold a lot of iPods, iPhones and computers without a lot of retail operations. [Read more…]

Using Google Docs in the CRE World

All of us have exchanged documents. Back and forth they go…tracking…red-lining…renaming…phoning the other party for clarification and, in the end, many times, we simply end up saddling ourselves with another job managing multiple versions of an original document.

Off-and-on for the past couple of years I have been experimenting with how I might use Google Docs in commercial real estate. I have collaborated with Brokers and clients on performance spreadsheets, operating budgets and even listing agreements via the document sharing and editing features of Google Docs.

The Upside. The upside of Google Docs is that I can truly control my documents…a true plus to any CRE Broker!

Another great positive feature is that I can literally control who sees my document by giving them web access.
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