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A message from the chairman: Retail in Focus

November 28, 2018

As even the most casual observer knows: Retail is in transition. New York Deal Making, one of ICSC’s largest events taking place at the Javits Center next week, will spotlight the future of retail with Retail in Focus, a dedicated floor space that will feature panel discussions and podcasts with a number of digitally native and emerging retail brands.

ICSC partnered with retail industry expert, Holly Cohen, to bring together innovative retailers to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by developing brands.

Exhibitors and programming at Retail in Focus provide an exceptional opportunity to gain insight into the needs and demands of modern retailers and consumers.

Brands exhibiting at Retail in Focus are reshaping shopping by creating unique online and offline experiences to meet consumers where they are today. While many are beginning to explore adding physical stores to their business strategies, others are looking to increase their brick-and-mortar footprint to support further growth and drive omni-channel sales. (ICSC’s recent study "The Halo Effect: How Bricks Impact Clicks" revealed that a new brick-and-mortar location can positively impact web traffic by 37 percent.)

Retail in Focus is a rare chance for real information exchange, and there is much to be shared between emerging, digital and traditional retailers. All retailers are in the customer-service business and we all strive for positive customer experiences, supply chain efficiencies and technology effectiveness. We all look to maximize productivity and profitability. The more we share and learn from each other, the more our collective customers benefit.

With Retail in Focus, ICSC continues to create and advance new ways for our membership to connect with digitally native and emerging brands that are bringing innovative products, services and experience to the marketplace. At the same time, by engaging with ICSC, these retailers can benefit from knowledge-sharing with peers and established brands, and connect with retail real estate professionals including leasing agents and brokers.

Retail in Focus at New York Deal Making, scheduled for Dec. 4-6, will feature up-and-coming brands including Winky Lux and Candytopia, which will showcase interactive activations to illustrate their business concepts. Other Retail in Focus brands include Allbirds, Dormify, Foxtrot, M. Gemi, UnTuckit, Fourpost, Guesst, HiO, Neighborhood Goods and Circumference.

Retail in Focus information sessions are scheduled throughout New York Deal Making. Many of the sessions will feature executives from emerging retail brands. Click here for a full schedule of Retail in Focus programming.

By highlighting innovative concepts, ICSC brings together all the elements—industry research, access to property owners, peer-to-peer relationships and relevant information—needed to optimize successful growth for both emerging and traditional retail brands.

Valerie Richardson, CRX, CLS

Chairman, 2018-2019, Vice President - Real Estate, The Container Store, Coppell, TX, United States

As vice president of real estate at The Container Store, Valerie Richardson is responsible for site evaluation and lease negotiation as well as store design coordination and construction for the nationwide store-expansion program. Before this, she was senior vice president of real estate and Development for Ann Taylor, Inc. She joined the ICSC trustee board in 2004. Richardson is also a member of the trustee board of Baylor-Plano Medical Center, in Plano, Texas.