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Q&A with John Ragland: The changing dynamic of US regional mall investments

Town Square

Hear from John Ragland, Managing Director, US Head of Retail, on the changing dynamic of regional mall investments in the US.

What is the current landscape for mall investments in the US?
The disruption occurring in the retail sector is driven by changing technology, the growth in e-commerce and retailers’ evolving business models. Retailers are seeking top-line growth and profitability through an integrated strategy of full-price stores, outlet stores and online sales. There is a growing number of store closings, but most are driven by retailers right-sizing their full-price store footprint and not by bankruptcy. Retailers are focusing capital on re-investing in their best full-line stores, growing the number of outlet stores and building the infrastructure for their e-commerce platform. Despite these changes, high-quality retail assets with strong demographics continue to perform well.

How is brick-and-mortar retail being impacted by e-commerce?
While it may seem like we have been talking about e-commerce for a long time, I believe we are in the early days of this trend. The fundamental truth that has emerged is that e-commerce does not exist profitably without physical stores. Market research has shown that approximately two-thirds of all online sales are impacted pre-or post-transaction by engagement in a store. Retailers admit that online sales in a market will increase materially when a store opens in that market, and some are utilizing their retail stores as fulfillment centers. Finally, pure online retailers such as Amazon, WarbyParker, Bonobos and others are now opening physical stores.

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John Ragland

John Ragland

Managing Director, US Retail Sector Head

John's biography