Networking took center stage at ICSC Las Vegas | Corbis news

During the three-day event, the Las Vegas Convention Center buzzed with energy, bringing together the leading personalities in the retail real estate industry. In this edition, the venue also gathered a diverse mix of people from the construction field who left with valuable connections and the potential for new deals. What are the insights and the outlook for retailers and developers? Find out here.

ICSC consistently strives to improve its offerings, and 2024 was no exception. Over 25,000 attendees gained valuable insights from dozens of thought-provoking panels this year. Beyond the educational sessions, the event provided an ideal platform to network with a broad range of professionals – from fellow retailers and sector experts to developers, lenders, and architects specializing in multi-site programs. An agenda packed with keynotes, workshops, and an expansive exhibit hall with 800 exhibitors offered attendees a wealth of ideas to support their projects, from cutting-edge prop-tech solutions to sustainable building materials.

Ideas in motion! ICSC was a fantastic opportunity to network with colleagues and retail industry leaders.

The real highlight of the event, however, was the opportunity for meaningful networking. According to the colleagues we met, the sector is strong, and the energy is positive. Retailers were especially confident about the industry’s evolution and its signs of expanding into mixed-used developments, including office, residential, industrial, and more. Discussions also highlighted the need for optimized site designs that cater to evolving consumer demands and provide integrated solutions that address market needs.

In the picture, Ken Bernhard, Joey Chestnut (ranked first in the world by Major League Eating), and Stella Debibi at the event. 

The new deals are (and will be) mostly focused on remodeling over the construction of new stores. Attendees agreed that it allows dealmakers to refresh their brand and adapt to changing consumer preferences while maintaining stability during uncertain economic times​.

Remodeling over new construction was the most heard trend at the Convention Center, attendees agreed.

For developers, the picture is quite different. The sector is experiencing an extended slowdown due to a combination of factors. The lack of new projects in recent years, coupled with a persistent gap between buyer and seller expectations, has limited investment opportunities. Experts pointed to high interest rates, rising development costs, and lengthy municipal approval processes as the main reasons for the slow pace of new construction.

Developers are still waiting to turn the corner and get busier.

Ken Bernhard, Managing Director of Construction and Development.

Despite the challenges, the strong participation at ICSC 2024 is a positive sign for the industry. The event highlighted a renewed interest in face-to-face interactions and networking, which will be crucial for navigating the evolving retail landscape. Do you have any programs in the pipeline? Don't hesitate to contact us! Our services are tailored to your business needs.