The Opposite of Doom and Gloom.

Though attendance at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon event in Las Vegas seems a little lighter than years past, the convention is by no means slow.

When asking one person during a meeting today, Roy Higgs, the CEO of architecture firm Development Design Group, how he would describe the show’s climate, the answer was “the opposite of doom and gloom.”

Many seemed to agree with this sentiment. Sure, things are a little slower than years past, but deals are still getting done and retailers are still expanding. “There’s expansion occurring,” says John Bemis, director of leasing and development at Jones Lang LaSalle. “Strong and focused retailers are continuing to expand.”

In most cases, he says, retailers that were opening 20 stores this year have cut back to 16 units. Bemis even predicts that early next year will bring a spike in fashion retail expansion. All of the people who are cutting back their spending will start buying again as soon as next year’s first quarter, he says.

But Bernard Haddigan, managing director of Marcus & Millichap’s national retail group, has a more tempered outlook. He says that the convention is “very busy, but not smoking busy” and that there is less of a retailer presence here this year.

He wouldn’t predict when things could turn around but was not overly negative about the climate, either. “It’s not the end of the world,” he says.

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6 Responses to “The Opposite of Doom and Gloom.”


  1. 1 Nancy H May 21, 2008 at 9:52 am

    It’s really nice to hear that there are some positive comments coming from the conference. After yesterday’s blog (blaming the media for the economic forecast), I was worried that it was going to be a big pity party. I work for a commercial architecture and interiors firm, and while we are seeing a slow down, we also don’t feel like this is the end of the world. We pulled in the reigns a bit and are running lean and mean – but we are running faster than we ever have before. There are opportunities out there – lots of them. You just have to be willing to dig a little deeper than you did before – make some new connections, and stay on top of the projects that are moving forward.

  2. 2 Steven L. Karas May 22, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I must have been at a different convention.

  3. 3 ahab May 22, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    Number of people at the convention gives little indication of number of deals going down in the next two years. It was a world apart from last year.

  4. 4 Realist as well... May 29, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Gosh I love it… GDP is better than first thought and the change in inventories makes the story simply undeniable.

    The next time anyone says “We’re already in a recession” please ask them what their new definition of “recession” is because it isn’t the textbook definition.

    The US economy will not fall into a real recession until the next president raises income and capital gains taxes. Same thing happened in 1990…!

    Will anyone question the doom and gloomers out there, like Mark Zandi of Moody’s…?

  5. 5 TeenyTiny June 4, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    “Strong and focused retailers are continuing to expand….” You mean all ten of them? Retail lost 75,000 jobs in January 2008, alone, and growing.


  1. 1 ICSC: Impressions from a first-timer | Identity Marketing and Public Relations Trackback on May 22, 2008 at 12:14 pm

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