Brokerage team members from several of Atlantic’s offices recently attended ICSC@Carolinas, held March 21-22 at the Charlotte Convention Center. The real estate world has seen several changes since the last Charlotte ICSC event in 2019, but it was great to see so many familiar faces in person again.
Throughout the two-day event, our brokers kept busy meeting with our clients — including Heartland Dental, Burlington, and Party City — advancing active deals throughout the Carolinas and presenting active listings on behalf of our landlord clients to retailers and the brokerage community. Networking with current and potential clients both on and off the conference floor, our Charlotte office hosted a gathering to wrap up the first day of the conference, and our clients took advantage of lifted travel restrictions to tour the local markets in the days prior to and following the event.
We heard consistent messaging throughout our conversations that retailers and restaurants have an overall positive outlook and long-term commitment to growth in the Carolinas. The appetite for deals remains strong even with the current economic challenges related to supply chain, staffing shortages, and inflation. This reflects the steady activity we’ve been seeing across all nine of our offices as our tenant clients continue to actively seek opportunities.
Another prominent theme that emerged during the conference is adaptability. As many concepts have right-sized, they’ve made adjustments to remain competitive and sustainable in the current landscape. For several retailers, this includes making changes to their physical stores to best suit customers’ expectations in our increasingly digital world.
For some retailers, this includes finding ways to avoid passing inflation-associated costs onto the consumer. Our client First Watch managed to avoid any price increases in 2021. This was due, in part, to their expansion building brand awareness and driving traffic growth and in part to their seasonal menu strategy and the introduction of an alcohol menu in 70% of its locations. This allowed them to avoid paring down their menu and increased offerings to their customer base, leading to a higher average check amount.
As we digest all that was learned in the Charlotte conference, we’re already planning how to make the most of our time at ICSC Las Vegas in May.
If you’re not attending or don’t want to wait until May to discuss listing or tenant representation opportunities, click here to contact the brokerage teams in any of our nine regional offices.