Trend Report For 2018: A Pivotal Time for Brick and Mortar Retail

Possibly not since the first enclosed mall opened in 1956 in Edina, Minnesota, has brick and mortar retail experienced such a pivotal point in its history. Most would attribute the changing retail environment to the effects of e-commerce and the Goliath that is Amazon; however, we believe there are more powerful factors at work.

In-store brick and mortar retail sales accounted for more than 89% of total retail sales in 2016, and early indications seem to point to 2017 being the best holiday shopping season in 4 years. So, if people are still shopping at brick and mortar stores, why do we hear the term “retail apocalypse” every time we turn on CNBC or pick up a Wall Street Journal?

The End Of The Department Store Era—Not Brick And Mortar

What we are seeing is not the demise of brick and mortar retail, but more the end of the department store era. Department-store-anchored malls that sold everything from apparel and electronics to furniture and home appliances dominated the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. But specialized big-box retailers have steadily eroded the department store model over the last three decades.

Eventually, we were left with malls anchored by department stores that focused on just a few categories centered on apparel. Does this mean that we will soon see the end of department stores and enclosed malls? Yes and no.

We will continue to see enclosed malls struggle to compete with convenience/grocery-anchored centers, experience-based shopping destinations, open-air lifestyle centers like Bridge Street Town Centre, and local specialty destinations such as The Garage at Clinton Row. Many malls will be able to adapt and survive with the addition of entertainment venues, hotels, and even office space. Others will simply disappear from the landscape to be replaced by a more modern retail and entertainment experience as we are seeing take place at the site of the old Madison Square Mall.

As far as the old department store is concerned, we are already seeing the same type of adaption into a more mixed offering of services and experiences. Many department stores are starting to reduce the size of the sales floor to make room for cafés, salons, pop-up shops, and even fitness concepts. Not all department stores will survive, but the ones that do will be more focused on the high-end specialty categories and customer experience. Instead of existing for exclusively for retail sales, they will provide a total experience and numerous services in one convenient location.

What Does The Future Look Like?

What can consumers expect the retail environment to look like in the future? Currently, the trend is what is called omni-channel retail. This is a combination of brick and mortar stores with online and mobile sales. As evidenced by Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods, e-commerce retailers are getting into the physical storefront game. It appears they understand the value of physical storefronts and their impact on the bottom-line. Sure, online shopping is convenient, but does it result in sales?

Research has shown that over 40% of items purchased online are returned. Furthermore, consumers make a purchase at a rate of 20% of the time when they walk into an actual store. That rate drops to 3% when visiting a website. The successful retailer of the future will be able to combine online, mobile/social media, and physical locations to create a positive experience for the customer.

One issue that is flying under the radar is the new tax reform bill and its impact on retailers. A reduction in the corporate tax rate could have a significant influence on the ability of brick and mortar retailers to compete with e-commerce retailers. With the reduction of the corporate tax rate, the savings experienced by the retailers can be used for an investment into omni-channel/mobile platforms, upgrading stores, or simply lowering prices to compete with e-commerce.

A Theme Of Adaptation

In conclusion, we continue to believe that the future is bright for both retailers and landlords. Once again, the theme continues to be adaptation. Traditional retailers are building their online presence and e-commerce retailers are getting into the bricks and mortar game. This environment creates opportunities for landlords that have the vision to meet the changing demands of consumers and the needs of the omni-channel retailer. It’s certainly an interesting time in retail, but one that can bring exciting changes to the benefit of everyone.

 Have questions about the changing retail market? Wondering how you can adapt in 2018? You can contact Zac at zac@crunkletonassociates.com or by calling 256-536-8809.

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Originally from Tennessee, Zac studied business management at Samford University. After moving to Huntsville in 2001, Zac started out his career in banking, wealth management, and financial planning. In 2010 he joined Crunkleton and has since become the VP of Leasing for the commercial real estate group where he focuses on retail leasing and development.

Zac Buckley
VP of Leasing
Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group
ZAC@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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The 2017 Downtown Huntsville Christmas Shopping Guide

It’s that time of year again! We are excited to share our third annual Downtown Huntsville Christmas Shopping Guide!

From local art and paper goods to men’s clothing and antiques, Downtown Huntsville has your Christmas list needs covered.

Each year, we release a lookbook of Downtown retailers so you can see the types of gifts and goodies you will find in each store, along with their hours of operation and locations. We’ve included stocking stuffers, gifts for dad, children’s toys, locally made items, gift cards, and much more. There’s plenty to be found in the heart of the Rocket City!

This year’s website was updated with some of the newest shops to join the Downtown family, like Scout & Molly’s Boutique and Asylum Comics. We also added some old favorites like Lewter Hardware Company and Greene Street Market Store—just to name a few.

2017 Downtown Christmas Shopping Guide

Here’s a sneak peek of what you can find in this year’s guide. Happy shopping, everyone!

Greene Street Market Store

Boutique Station

Lewter Hardware Company

Huntsville Museum of Art Store

Click here to view the official guide and get a look at the other amazing shops Downtown!

Help spread the word and support local shops by sharing this guide on social media!

Did we leave out one of your favorite Downtown stores? Send us an email at info@crunkletonassociates.com so we can add them to the list!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

New “Williamsburg Plaza” Development Coming To Madison!

Crunkleton Commercial Real Estate Group is proud to announce that a new three-unit development is coming to the corner of Nance Road and Highway 72 near the city of Madison!

The 8,200 square foot “Williamsburg Plaza” is set to begin construction in early 2018 and already has two confirmed tenants—Bank Independent and Aspen Dental.

“We’re very happy to share the news about this location with our customers, neighbors, and friends in Madison County and beyond,” says Macke Mauldin, President of Bank Independent. “We’ve listened to our customers who travel Highway 72 to work or shop in the area and who have asked us to open a sales office here. Our 28th office will bring Bank Independent’s convenient and truly personalized customer service to the Madison community.”

Wesley Crunkleton and Zac Buckley handle the leasing of the project and say the state-of-the-art bank office will be the perfect anchor.

“Williamsburg Plaza will be a great addition to one of Madison’s busiest retail corridors,” said Wesley. “The site’s accessibility and strong visibility make it an ideal location for Bank Independent to serve its clientele with quality customer service. Aspen Dental will also be joining the development, and we look forward to releasing more information on the leasing of this project as it becomes available.”

Although the branch will feature Bank Independent’s signature Colonial Williamsburg exterior, the interior will offer customers modern technology and conveniences, including a tech bar for tablet banking, a deposit ATM, and cash recyclers for more efficient and faster transactions.

The branch will provide the bank’s full range of deposit and lending services with universal bankers, sales officers, and representatives from the business banking and mortgage teams.

Stay tuned as we release the information on the third and final tenant to join Williamsburg Plaza!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

J. Kennedy Clothing Company Joins Traditional Style With An Adventurous Edge In New Downtown Women’s Boutique

“For elegance, for resilience, for grace. Terribly simple—yet terrifically glamorous.
Uptown or downtime—bring wonderful manners and a flair for adventure. Horseback riding or sail boating today?”

Behind the brand of J. Kennedy Clothing Company is a passion for empowering the modern woman through timelessly classic style. A new women’s boutique coming to Downtown Huntsville in Spring 2018, J. Kennedy will supply a unique inventory of heirloom quality clothing and goods.

The new shop is the final tenant to join the thriving businesses at The Garage at Clinton Row—an adaptive reuse development that converted the bottom of a city parking deck into a strip of retail stores. The grand reveal of the shop took place last week at the Clinton Avenue Block Party and is already drawing the interest of Huntsville shoppers.

For Co-Owners of J. Kennedy, Meagan Tortorigi and Anusha Alapati, the project to open the store has been a year in the making. The shop plans to open its doors in March of next year, with online shopping available in February.

“Huntsville is a growing city with a need and appreciation for diversity in clothing,” said Meagan. “While we are a small, local boutique, we will provide exceptional customer service, style, experience, and assistance in outfitting. Now is the time to bring J. Kennedy to life.”

The Story.

“The look, the walk, the clothes, the grace.”

With years of retail experience under her belt as the owner and operator of Huntsville’s Cotton Cottage Boutique, Meagan reached out to Anusha with the proposition of opening a new women’s outfitter with a signature style.

“Managing Cotton Cottage was an incredible experience,” said Meagan, who will handle the day-to-day business of J. Kennedy. “After I moved to Birmingham, I left the retail business to focus on other pursuits. Now that I am back in Huntsville, it’s time to take on J. Kennedy with Anusha by my side. I couldn’t ask for a better business partner.”

As they formed plans for their new store, the image of one fiercely confident woman came to mind—Jacqueline Kennedy.

The Inspiration.

“It’s not just about what you wear, but how you wear it.”

Jacqueline Kennedy’s signature poise motivated Meagan and Anusha to create a new kind of women’s boutique for Huntsville. Everything from the design of the space to the available brands were carefully selected to reflect the refinement of the American fashion icon.

“Whether she was out on the field or at an upscale ball, Jackie Kennedy carried her strong sense of style with her,” said Anusha. “It’s something to be admired. Our new store will reflect the adventure and sophistication that she conveyed.”

Shoppers at J. Kennedy will be able to find a look for every occasion—styles for work, a night on the town, or casual day wear. And plenty of accessories will be available as well, including jewelry, shoes, and leather goods.

“We want every visit to be a memorable experience for our clientele,” said Meagan. “And that starts the moment they walk into the store.”

The Experience.

“A button up and jeans stop traffic. The door opens and she enters, breathless, but on time.”

Antique wingback chairs, Persian rugs, wooden accent walls, and exposed brick—these are just a few of the accents to expect at J. Kennedy.

“It will be as if you’re walking into a chic hunting lodge to enjoy a glass of champagne with Jackie herself,” said Meagan. “It’s outdoorsy but sophisticated. It will stand out in terms of design, and we think it will fit perfectly with the well-established shops at The Garage. We are also working with the Huntsville Historic Foundation and Reconstruction South to secure furniture and other decorative items.”

J. Kennedy plans to keep customers in mind when making decisions on what goods to carry in the 1,000 square foot space. Anusha said the company will reach out on social media in the coming months to hear what Huntsville has to say.

The Journey.

“For elegance, for resilience, for grace. Terribly simple, yet terrifically glamorous.”

Huntsville, what makes you feel glamorous? Confident? Classic? J. Kennedy wants to know.

“We want our customers to have a voice when it comes to what brands and fashion we offer,” explained Meagan. “Reach out to us via social media and let us know what you want us to carry. Every time we go to market we have our customers’ needs in mind. Speak up, because we are listening.”

Get to know J. Kennedy on Facebook and Instagram as they reveal more about the store in the coming months.

Visit https://www.jkennedyclothing.com for more.

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Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM