Shoppers wear safety masks at the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The largest global trade association in the retail real estate industry is rebranding itself to renew its image amid significant changes in the way people shop.
The International Council of Shopping Centers announced on Monday that its initials ICSC will now stand for innovative communities serving commerce. The ICSC said it took about nine months to complete the changes.
The 65-year-old trade group said the change reflects how the ICSC, its members, including mall and mall owners in the United States, and the entire retail real estate industry are booming, in part due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The terms ‘shopping malls’ or ‘retail properties’ continue to be an important part of our membership,” ICSC President and CEO Tom McGee said in an interview. “But they describe to some extent the historical nature of our members, from a demographic point of view … the type of property it was. As opposed to the impact the industry has on communities. “
Today, according to McGee, ICSC’s membership base is expanding to include other businesses such as tech startups and real estate service providers.
“This is not just a rebranding,” he said. “For me, this reflects what is happening in the industry as a whole and among our members. And we are developing together with the industry. “
The International Council of Shopping Centers renamed its name, ICSC, to Innovative Communities Serving Commerce.
ICSC also hopes that major renovations will make the trade association more attractive to young people.
“We need to modernize the brand to attract more and younger generations to the industry, as well as to be more welcoming to emerging businesses and other sectors within the company. [commercial real estate]”ICSC says in a package sent to some members ahead of Monday’s announcement.
The rebranding comes as much of the retail real estate industry is trying to find a new foundation to overcome the health crisis. One of the biggest threats to many malls and malls is the rise of e-commerce.
Not all properties have been damaged over the past year. Centers located close to grocery stores and major retailers such as purpose, for example, thrive as shoppers seek out the essentials in these businesses. Others, however – and mostly closed malls filled with clothing boutiques – lost tenants and watched the flood of shoppers fall off the cliff. About 25% of America’s 1,000 malls are projected to close. by 2025 as more consumers shift their spending online
Visitors are starting to return. Index of 100 gated shopping malls tracked by Retail analytics firm Placer.ai found that shopper traffic was down just 8.1% last month from June 2019, before the pandemic.
Landlords face other roadblocks in the foundations of their businesses. In some parts of the country, rents for retail properties have fallen sharply and the number of available space has risen sharply, with supply far exceeding demand. Through Manhattan retail rents have declined for 15 consecutive quarters and hit historic lows…
The vacancy rate for all retail space in the United States rose to 10.6% in the first quarter of 2021, according to a study by real estate company Newmark and Moody’s Analytics REIS. This is a record unseen since 2013. More than 3.6 million square feet of retail space was returned to market in 2020 and 800,000 square feet were returned in the first quarter of this year, Newmark and REIS reported.
According to REIS, US shopping center vacancies in the first quarter were 11.4%, the highest in a decade.
While the retail real estate industry was struggling, ISCS watched his membership base shrink, The Real Deal said. He laid off dozens of employees last year as personal events were canceled and revenues dried up, according to a real estate news site.
There are about 50,000 members in North America, according to an ICSC spokesman.
The annual conference of trade organization RECon in Las Vegas was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. The event usually attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. The ICSC is now expected to bring its members together in Sin City this December, with a full list of personal events on the 2022 agenda.
“We expect it to be an explosion,” McGee said. “People want to come together, and this has historically been what the ICSC is well known for.”