Executive Briefings

Death of Physical Stores Greatly Exaggerated, Says New Head of Shopping Center Trade Group

The demise of physical stores has become a familiar narrative during the holiday season, but nothing could be further from the truth, according to one man better positioned than most to know.

Tom McGee, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), understandably has a biased view of the role of physical retail. He joined the trade group in September after a lengthy career with Deloitte where he served as vice chairman and of the global professional services firms. Now, just three months into his new job, McGee is the leading voice for the shopping center and retail real estate industry.

“One of the things that attracted me to this position was I saw an industry that was so critically important to the economy but had not received the respect it deserves,” McGee said. “In 2016, people will begin to realize how important this industry is. There will be a revitalization of interest and enthusiasm in the role of retail and the retail real estate industry in the national economy.”

Interest and enthusiasm was abundant in early December when ICSC held its annual New York National Deal Making Conference in Manhattan. As the largest of nine regional deal-making events ICSC organizes, the New York event served as venue for an ecosystem of players involved in retail development and real estate to gather and, like the name suggests, make deals.

“We had a great conference in New York. It was a home run with more than 10,000 people in attendance, a real testament to the strength of the industry,” McGee said.
 “A deal by its very nature is an optimistic bet on the future.”

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Tom McGee, president and CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), understandably has a biased view of the role of physical retail. He joined the trade group in September after a lengthy career with Deloitte where he served as vice chairman and of the global professional services firms. Now, just three months into his new job, McGee is the leading voice for the shopping center and retail real estate industry.

“One of the things that attracted me to this position was I saw an industry that was so critically important to the economy but had not received the respect it deserves,” McGee said. “In 2016, people will begin to realize how important this industry is. There will be a revitalization of interest and enthusiasm in the role of retail and the retail real estate industry in the national economy.”

Interest and enthusiasm was abundant in early December when ICSC held its annual New York National Deal Making Conference in Manhattan. As the largest of nine regional deal-making events ICSC organizes, the New York event served as venue for an ecosystem of players involved in retail development and real estate to gather and, like the name suggests, make deals.

“We had a great conference in New York. It was a home run with more than 10,000 people in attendance, a real testament to the strength of the industry,” McGee said.
 “A deal by its very nature is an optimistic bet on the future.”

Read Full Article