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New ideas, new content, new destinations at RECon

May 30, 2019

The retail real estate industry has new rules, new players and new momentum. And as more than 30,000 attendees can attest, so did RECon 2019.

ICSC's Tom McGee talks about the state of the industry at RECon

Reflecting today’s industry shifts, this year’s 230 new exhibitors included emerging brands, specialty retailers, technology companies, food-and-entertainment concepts, medical providers and more.

WeWork partner Julie Rice discusses the consumer trends that will shape the retail landscape in years to come

Keynoters Tony Romo, Marcus Lemonis and Julie Rice were part of  this year’s enhanced programming, which included 175 thought-leaders, speakers and educators in 78 different sessions. RECon attendees, one-third of whose job titles were senior vice president and above, embraced this highly curated content, with 500 more people attending keynotes this year than in 2018.

Cornerstone Commercial Real Estate's Spero Adamis leads a Tenant Representation 101 class at RECon

Five new destinations — Retail in Focus, Innovation Exchange, Health & Wellness Center, Outlet Centers and Colleges & Universities — brought property owners, developers and brokers closer to the brands, tenant classes, concepts and talent that are driving this dynamic industry to new heights.

A few examples include Foxtrot, an upscale convenience-store chain; Guesst, an Airbnb-style concept for brands seeking shelf space at existing retailers; and Batch, a store resembling a home interior in which everything from the wallpaper to the furniture is for sale. More than 830 attendees visited the Retail in Focus destination to interact with executives from these brands and others, and to learn more about their expansion plans.

At Retail in Focus, attendees learned about emerging brands such as Brella

Healthcare companies such as Walgreens, Kaiser Permanente and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare also made their RECon debut this year as part of ICSC’s push to include more nontraditional tenants. More than 800 attendees visited the Health & Wellness destination to learn more about how these users are targeting retail centers for new locations.

Walgreens' Joe Brady tells RECon attendees about the retailer's expansion plans

More than 1,500 RECon attendees visited the Innovation Exchange to check out the latest in technology and consumer experiences. These included brands such as Electrify America, a subsidiary of Volkswagen that is installing rechargers in retail center parking lots, and Area15, a science-fiction-themed retail, live entertainment, arts and food venue set to open in Las Vegas this year.

RECon attendees learned more about new technologies at the Innovation Exchange

Consistently, RECon remains a go-to spot for continuing education and self-improvement for retail real estate executives. More than 2,200 attendees participated in 19 sessions on Professional Development Day, while more than 300 people participated in sessions at the talent development pavilion.

Vantage Law Group's Joseph Nunez instructs a class at RECon titled How You Draft Your Lease Can Save You Money

And as always, the leasing mall was a beehive of activity. Some 3,300 retailers were in attendance, amounting to one retailer for every three owner/developers on the show floor. This activity was broadcast far and wide through the national and international business press, with reporters from Bloomberg News, The Wall Street Journal and WWD, among others, on hand to report on the innovation sweeping our industry.

RECon attendees doing deals in the Leasing Mall

Learn more about what was new at RECon this year through our extensive coverage below:

Tony Romo and Centennial Real Estate's Kristin Baisch compete for charity at RECon

Professional Development Day drew crowds of shopping center professionals eager to hone their skills

The Leasing Mall at RECon

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