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Archive for May, 2018

Answering Questions About Leadership In Public/Private Partnerships

One of the more popular ways to start a new retail development project is to enter into a public/private partnership. This type of partnership exists between a city government (the public party) and a retailer or developer (the private party). Public/private partnerships are built on the idea of shared control between private parties and city governments as they work together toward a retail development goal.

In order to achieve their goals, public/private partnerships need consistent, coordinated leadership. Whether it’s an individual or a small group, good leadership in a public/private partnership is essential to keeping everything moving forward as planned.

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What does a leader do?

In a public/private partnership, the leader is responsible for defining clear goals and keeping the project moving toward those goals. They’ll help bring the right parties to the table, act as the bridge between private project managers and political leaders, and give other stakeholders a forum to share their thoughts on the project. They’re also working to coordinate the development process and keep everyone on-point.

The most effective leadership for public/private partnership isn’t a top-down approach where the leader’s just giving orders. A project like this needs a leader who facilitates and inspires others to keep moving toward shared goals. The leader acts as a point person, getting everyone involved in the project together and then following through with them until the project is completed.

Where do you find public/private leaders?

You’ll need to find someone that both parties agree on as the leader. The last thing you want is for a leadership choice to cause fighting between the two groups. Keeping with the idea of sharing control, it might be a good idea to appoint one representative from each group. Then they can jointly act as project leaders.

You’ll also want to plan for the possibility that leadership could change during the course of the partnership. Many political leaders, for example, are replaced after a 2- or 4-year term. You’ll need a plan for transcending political and administrative changes. That’ll help ensure the new leaders have the same commitment and goals as before so the project can keep moving forward without unnecessary restructuring.

How do you lay the groundwork for effective leadership?

Even the best leader can’t do much good if the groundwork for your public/private partnership is shaky. Take the time early on in the process to prepare for public/private partnerships. Make sure both parties do their homework and establish a solid foundation for good decision making in the partnership.

One of the best things you can do early on in the process of creating a retail development partnership is to bring in a retail expert. Here at Retail Attractions, we have extensive experience helping communities and developers come together in partnerships that benefit both parties. We can help you lay a solid foundation for your retail development goals and we’ll work with leaders to ensure your project reaches completion. Get in touch with us today to get started.

What Do Record-Breaking Retail Closings Mean For Your Community?

As of mid-April, various companies are set to vacate more than 90 million square feet of retail space in 2018. This new number comes in the wake of department store chain Bon-Ton being forced into liquidation. RadioShack, Payless ShoeSource, and Toys “R” Us have also filed for bankruptcy protection. And other companies are scaling back their U.S. presence, including Rite Aid, Subway, and Best Buy.

Suzanne Mulvee, a senior real estate strategist at commercial real estate services firm CoStar, predicts Bon-Ton won’t be the last company announcing new closings this year. This doesn’t mean all physical stores are going away, but it does represent a massive shift in the retail industry.

So what does the “retail apocalypse” mean for you? Whether you’re a retailer trying to figure out how and where to build or a city that’s relying on retail growth, Retail Attractions can help you answer this question.

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More Space Available

The retail closings are going to free up large amounts of retail space. Some property owners see this as a good opportunity to fill the spaces with more profitable tenants. But with so much space available, getting new businesses moved in is going to be highly competitive. Communities and property owners will need to know how to market their retail spaces in a competitive market.

Cautious Expansion

After having seen so many retailers go under, other retailers and restaurants are going to be much more cautious when expanding into new areas. And that means it’s going to take a great amount of initiative and a well-planned strategy to recruit them for your community.

Another way that retailers are expanding more cautiously is by opening small-format stores. The smaller stores let customers experience the products in-person but focus on being a hub for in-store pickup, easy returns, and local delivery. Target, one of the few retailers actually expanding in 2018, expects to open 35 of these small-format stores this year.

Two Categories Still Growing

Rickey Hayes, the founder of Retail Attractions, says, “Two categories that will continue to grow [are] restaurants and groceries.” Even though there are online sites getting in on grocery sales and delivery services that bring the ingredients for quick meal-prep to your door, they still can’t beat the physical locations for convenience. People want to inspect their produce before they purchase it and make sure their perishable items don’t spoil in shipping. And if you don’t want to cook there’s no way to beat the convenience of a restaurant.

Search For Better Data

If you’re a retailer looking for smart ways to expand in today’s retail landscape, you’re going to need access to better data for finding emerging markets. The dynamics of retail have changed. And figuring out exactly how that plays-in to your business isn’t easy to do on your own. That’s one area where Retail Attractions can be a huge asset for your business.

Here at Retail Attractions, we’re keeping a close eye on the emerging trends in retail. Whether you’re a community looking to attract retail or a retailer wondering how to move forward, you need someone with a wider view who is able to accurately predict what comes next. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get through the retailpocalypse.