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Rick J. Caruso Opens National Retail Federation's 2014 "Big Show" With Keynote Address: 'The Traditional Mall Is Dead; Retail Is Timeless'

Joined by Panelists Blake Nordstrom, Candace Nelson and Rebecca Minkoff

NEW YORK, Jan. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rick J. Caruso, Founder and CEO of Caruso Affiliated, one of the largest privately held real estate development companies and the only U.S. based developer with two shopping centers in the top 15 in the world in sales per square foot (The Grove in Los Angeles, CA and The Americana at Brand in Glendale, CA), addressed thousands of executives across retail, finance and media at the National Retail Federation's 2014 "Big Show" opening keynote. Entitled Reimagining Main Street – How Brick and Mortar Retail Will Thrive in the 21st Century, Caruso challenged the giants of brick and mortar retail, saying that to thrive in today's marketplace they need to get human again and step back into the heart of the American social experience. Today's shoppers, he argued, need human-scale, multi-use, livable projects, and retailers who ignore that, do so at their own peril.

"I've come to the conclusion that within 10-15 years the typical U.S. mall, unless completely reinvented, will be seen as a historical anachronism that no longer meets the needs of the public, retailers or communities," Caruso added. "I believe the rebirth of retail will come as developers, retailers and cities understand the retail paradigm of the future is based on something timeless and enduring. People want to engage and feel a sense of community. They are driven by the experience. Embrace the four walls you have, regardless of whether you are in a mall or on the street, and physical retail will thrive in years to come." 

Key takeaways from the keynote included:

  • The traditional mall is dead; retail is timeless. Today's shoppers need human-scale, multi-use, livable projects. Retailers, developers and cities must embrace the soul of retail's past to ensure a future. While mechanics and technology change over time, the human need driving retail does not;
  • Creating connection and community are everything. A compelling retail experience grows market share and customer loyalty. Retailers and property owners who focus on hospitality concepts will thrive regardless of competition;
  • Digital does not mean death for brick-and-mortar. Face-to-face interactions with brands, the social aspect of shopping and the physical presence of retail goods will continue to fill basic human needs and drive people to brick-and-mortar establishments;
  • Social media connects people with each other, and brands with people. The internet and social media are extremely valuable tools in a retailer's arsenal, allowing them to engage with customers on multiple fronts and learn about them in the process.

Caruso was also part of a spirited panel discussion about how brick and mortar retail will thrive in the 21st Century, that included Candace Nelson, Founder and Pastry Chef of Sprinkles Cupcakes, Blake Nordstrom, President of Nordstrom, Inc. and Rebecca Minkoff, Fashion Designer, with moderator Sue Herrera, co-host of CNBC's Power Lunch.

To receive a full transcript of the keynote and / or for more information, please contact HL Group or Caruso Affiliated. For more information, visit www.CarusoAffiliated.com | Twitter: @RickCarusoLA

About Caruso Affiliated
Caruso Affiliated is one of the largest, privately held real estate development companies in the United States. They develop, own and manage a portfolio of highly specialized retail and residential properties that command sales per square foot 75% above the industry average.  Average consumer expenditures nearly double that of regional malls, and sales growth is nearly three times that of traditional malls. Its portfolio encompasses a world-class collection of properties that attract millions of people annually, including one of its premier developments, The Grove, which attracts more guests per year than Disneyland.  Two of Caruso Affiliated's properties – The Grove and The Americana at Brand – rank in Shopping Center Today's list of the top 15 shopping centers in the world based on sales per square foot.  Caruso Affiliated properties are designed to make them more than retail and residential sites, they are central gathering places for the communities they serve, as well as premier tourist destinations.  The Caruso Affiliated portfolio also includes the Caruso Affiliated Dining Group, which owns and operates six restaurants in Southern California.  On the hospitality side, Caruso Affiliated is in development on The Miramar Beach Resort and Bungalows, its first luxury resort property in Montecito, CA.  Caruso Affiliated is also currently spearheading one of the largest retail development programs in the nation, which is expected to generate $80 million annually in new taxes for state and local governments as well as 11,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs. For more information, visit www.CarusoAffiliated.com

SOURCE Caruso Affiliated

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