When it looked like e-commerce would threaten the existence of brick & mortar retail a decade ago, people debated whether consumers would ever truly abandon shopping in a culture that had long made consumerism a national pastime. What few people would have predicted however, was that not only would physical stores thrive in the 2020s, but that online shopping itself would be one of the catalysts for its revival. Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPIS) emerged during the pandemic as a safe way to get essentials but has turned into a must-have convenience for millions of shoppers. For retailers, this behavior shift is not only welcome, it has become an essential tool for driving repeat visits. Read more in this story from the Wall Street Journal’s Liz Young >>
Forgive the shameless self-promotion, but it is always an honor to be a guest on JLL’s Where We Buy podcast with host and fellow retail researcher James Cook! I sat down with James and his associate Ebere Anokute at ICSC ReCon in Las Vegas in May to discuss how smaller markets with can be attractive places to invest in retail real estate. Take a listen at the link here >>
Video of the week: Primark may not be a household name in the US yet, but with over 20 stores in the Northeast and planned expansion to Maryland and Virginia this year, that probably won’t be true for long. Find out why this Irish import is succeeding at affordable fashion while others have struggled to keep up. Watch this video from the Wall Street Journal here >>
The answer to whether Americans would ever return to the movies in an age of streaming and endless sequels to existing IP was answered in a big way this month with the viral sensation that was “Barbenheimer”, which juxtaposed two important but tonally opposite approaches to filmmaking. “Barbie” untapped endless lore around one of the most successful toy brands of all time with a witty, off-kilter script and direction from indie film veteran Greta Gerwig, who scored the biggest opening weekend for a female director in movie history. Meanwhile, Chrispoher Nolan’s biopic of atomic bomb builder J. Robert Oppenheimer couldn’t come at a more important time in modern history with geopolitical tensions at their most pitched since the Cold War. The winner? Movie goers and theater owners who packed multiplexes from coast to coast to see these two groundbreaking films. However, with the ongoing labor strife in Hollywood, will studios be able to capitalize on this newfound affinity for moviegoing?