Valerie Richardson doesn’t believe the retail industry faces an “apocalypse.”
Although retailers have announced more than 4,500 store closures so far this year, the chairwoman of the International Council of Shopping Centers told a group commercial real estate brokers this week that the future of retail remains bright, especially as millennials come of age and enter their prime spending years, The Houston Chronicle reports.
“We talk a lot about disruption in retail, but there’s been disruption in the retail business for 5,000 years,” Richardson says. “What we’re seeing today is a rebirth, a reforming of retail.”
Richardson, vice president of real estate for Dallas-based The Container Store, acknowledged that some retailers have struggled to adapt to changing consumer demands and the growing popularity of online shopping after building too many stores and taking on private equity debt. This has led to several high-profile bankruptcies and liquidations in recent years.
However, retailers who remain nimble, relevant and focused on satisfying consumers stand to survive, even thrive, through this tumultuous time, Richardson says.
“The big threat that online is taking over retail is diminished,” Richardson said. “We’re investing in online because it’s an opportunity for us to serve the consumer the way they want to be served.” Read the full story.