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July 15th, 2019

Webinar~ “Fight or Flight” with K.C Conway

KC Conway, retail webinar, commercial real estate economist

Fight or Flight:

The Evolution of Rural and Secondary Markets

K.C. Conway, MAI, CRE

Director of Research
Alabama Center for Real Estate
Chief Economist

As the retail sector continues to evolve, join us for a discussion on trends in rural and secondary markets. We’ll discuss the importance of identifying adaptive reuse in opportunity zones as well as logistics infrastructure for delivery services and much more.

Who Should Attend: Community Leaders and Economic Development Staff
Recorded: Monday, July 15, 2019

Webinar Recap

Many people today do not fully understand what is going on in the retail industry, it can get confusing with so many sources. KC Conway discusses his predictions and recommendations he has for the future in retail, as well as common misunderstandings that people have about the retail industry. KC has been in the commercial real estate industry for thirty years gaining experience from being a chief economist for Colliers International, working for several government agencies, and guiding the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke and the Board of Governors on how the housing crisis affected the commercial real estate industry.

KC discusses common misconceptions that people have about the retail industry starting with the talk of online retail causing stores to go bankrupt. As easy as it is to blame Amazon for taking sales away from brick and mortar, the real reason stores are going bankrupt is due to over leveraging creditors and collecting excessive debt. Store closures heavily impact local governments because they make a large portion of their money from the commercial real estate property taxes and local sales tax in select states.  Another misconception KC discusses is experiential retail is not a new concept, even though so many people claim it’s new, it has been around since the inception of retail.  Retail is now beyond experiential with an increase of spending focusing on point of procurement over point of sale. Lastly, there is a common misconception focused around brick and mortar dying to the convenience of online stores, but KC discusses how this is not true; “It’s not dying at all; it’s just we’re getting it in different ways”.  Consumers are spending more due to a high consumer confidence and good capital budgets.

A big topic that KC centered his discussion on is re-purposing retail, and how retail is not dying just changing and becoming smaller. “Retail is going to be in smaller places. It’s going to be in airports, closer to hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, hotels. This is where it’s going to be, and your square footage is going to be a lot smaller” he said. Retail is increasing in offices, healthcare, and transportation services. KC provided an example with the renovation of the 100 Oaks Mall in Nashville, TN that was purchased by Vanderbilt Hospital. The top part of the building is medical spaces for office and clinics. The bottom of the building is retail with major tenants such as H. H. Gregg and Kirkland’s. KC predicts that this is the future of retail and packaging retail with services at medical facilities, airports, office spaces, bus stations, etc. will significantly increase profits. These are places people must be so why not make retail conveniently located, they are more likely to make a purchase than if retail was a couple blocks away.

Click on the link below to learn more from KC and his webinar with Lacy Beasley about Fight or Flight in the Retail industry.  

KC Conway

K.C. Conway

With more than 30 years of experience in commercial real estate, Conway is a nationally recognized expert and speaker on a wide range of topics ranging from appraisal and bank regulation to ports and securitization. His areas of specialty include housing, industrial, litigation support, industrial and office real estate, North American ports, and land development.

Conway is a frequent speaker for the Federal Reserve, FDIC, FHLB, state bank commissioners, academic groups, professional organizations, and industry associations. He previously served as chief economist for Colliers International – US. In addition to being a frequent lecturer at international conferences, Conway has consulted with major governmental agencies, most notably briefing former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Board of Governors on the burgeoning subprime lending and housing crisis and its impact on the commercial real estate industry. K.C. Conway, MAI, CRE Economist, Counselor of Real Estate, Ports & Logistics Expert Dir. of Research & Corp. Engagement, ACRE / Culverhouse College of Commerce / Univ. of AL

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