Signature Associates

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By: Erica Dunlap

We know the retail landscape has greatly changed over the past few months. COVID-19 will have long-lasting effects on the real estate industry and specifically the retail sector, however, we still see a need for premier retail space as we navigate our new normal. Here are three reasons why we still see a need for Downtown/Urban Retail Space.

1. Experiential Retail will still exist!

Even pre-COVID we saw shifts in retail with the insurgence of online shopping. While in fact several products can be purchased with the click of a mouse, and contactless delivery is enticing in today’s pandemic, not everything can be purchased online. Take a look at our listing at 100 S. Old Woodward. The location does not get any better! This space is across from a Starbucks Reserve and Lululemon. We have sales information on both locations and let’s just say, they are better than good. If you drive by either of these locations today, you will see lines out the door. Why? Because people still want experiential retail. They want to have someone else make their coffee and go pick it up, and businesses like Starbucks have truly improvised during these times. The same thought applies to stores like Lululemon, people still don’t know how those leggings are going to fit or need to take them in because they tore a seam.

 2. Signage/Advertising Opportunities.

Retailers are starting to value brick and mortar, high-image retail locations differently. Not only can these locations attract pedestrian traffic, but they also are permanent billboards. How so? If someone is driving through Downtown Birmingham and sees the sign for Lululemon, they might remember they need to buy that new hat for their friends’ birthday. Even if this person doesn’t physically go into the store to purchase the item, they will go home, go online, and make the purchase. Visibility in retail is becoming more important than ever as shopping becomes more easily accessible.

3.Coordinated Efforts of Downtown Shopping.

When you have a downtown retail presence, you are surrounded by other retailers looking to attract those same shoppers with a different concept. There’s a reason certain stores locate near other stores; the pedestrian traffic is greater. Our clients are frequently asking “What is the pedestrian traffic count at that location?”  It matters! Even in a COVID-shopping environment with safety precautions, people want to get out, walk around, and explore shopping opportunities. Additionally, in the Downtown Markets we work, there are coordinated municipal and community efforts to promote shopping through events, promotions, etc. These opportunities are a huge benefit to retailers when looking at space options.

The ÆRES Team at Signature Associates (“ÆRES”) focuses specifically on Downtown/Urban Commercial Real Estate. ÆRES was born in 2017 to better serve our clients. We believe our team approach ensures our clients receive the best attention, market knowledge, and service. Looking for a great location in the heart of Downtown Birmingham or Detroit? Check out our listings here or visit our website to access our full Team Profile and more information. We look forward to seeing you out in the marketplace, face-masked and all!

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