2020 Recap: Retail Resource

ICSC Rebrand: ICSC Gets It

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ICSC, previously the International Council of Shopping Centers, has now rebranded as ICSC with a tag line “Innovating Commerce Serving Communities.”

For 65 years ICSC has served as the voice of the commercial real estate industry, serving members through networking events, advocacy, and research.  The organization started with a small group of mall and shopping center owners who wanted to form a coalition to move the industry forward with a common interest. 

How have shopping centers and communities changed since the 1950’s?

In the post WWII economy, the average annual salary was less than $5,000 and minimum wage was $0.75.  Only wealthy families owned a television and Elvis shocked America with his shaking hips. Wives raised the children and husbands stayed in the same job their entire career. With countless families moving to the suburbs in the 1950’s so fewer Americans could simply walk out onto the street to do their shopping.

Shopping malls catered to this new, car driving demographic, placing all consumer desires in one convenient location. The Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, California did exactly that, and in 1957, pulled out all the stops to get new customers in the door.

All this to be said, the name International Council of Shopping Centers was very progressive in the 1950s. 

Where will the industry be 65 years in the future?

With COVID-19 serving as the great accelerator of the decade, how will vehicles, roads, online sales, and shopping patterns change?

Retail is no longer only physical. Retail has expanded to cross-pollinate with e-commerce, medical, service, office, and residential. Real estate is fed by people. People migrate to communities who focus on the “quality of place” groundwork. People no longer move to a city because they found a job they will never leave. They move to a city for the strong quality of life and back into a job.

It all starts with Community Innovation.

It takes a lot to listen to a market and hear the needs of retailers. To help them know where they will thrive and grow. Sure, most people think about shopping centers and favorite places to eat. But understanding the infrastructure of a community -the roads, lights, traffic, water, and schools- are necessary to knowing fertile soil for retailers.

Shopping and dining provide that unique local experience, the character, and “sense of place” that attracts people. It’s vital to have both national and local retail, medical, office, residential, and schools to keep communities happy and thriving. Without retail and restaurants, commerce-serving communities cannot attract the “human infrastructure”, the happy workforce, that will sustain businesses.

ICSC is spot on with the rebrand.  The progressive forward-thinking of innovating commerce serving communities is the passion of Retail Strategies.

Updated Logo & Website

Previous Logo

Updated Logo

icsc logo
retail specialists website

In 2005, Robert Jolly and Mead Silsbee saw a need in the market for commercial real estate to work with retailers. They formed Retail Specialists to develop, lease and manage retail transactions. They thrived, even through the 2008 recession, becoming the premier retail real estate firm of the Southeast.

Community officials wanted to know more:

How do they attract new retail and retain existing businesses?

Through listening to property owners, retailers, and community officials, in 2011 Robert and Mead formed Retail Strategies to help communities in retaining and recruiting retail. Working side-by-side with a commercial real estate firm, partnering with retailers and communities, developers, and landowners.

Now with more than 60 employees, hundreds of clients from coast to coast, and offices across the nation, Retail Strategies believes in the human infrastructure and bridging the public-private gap.

At Retail Specialists and Retail Strategies, we listen to our communities, we listen to property owners, we listen to retailers.  We continue to listen and add services that help communities grow throughout the nation. What we’ve learned through listening is that ICSC gets it.  Their new tag line is how you move our industry forward.

Innovating Commerce Serving Communities

ICSC Tagline

What to Know

  • ICSC is not an acronym.  The initials are the brand. The tag line is Innovating Commerce Serving Communities.
  • ICSC will still have deal making and networking events.
  • ICSC will focus on professional talent development and certifications.
  • ICSC will advocate for issues impacting our industry.
  • For example, communities across America would have been devastated by COVID-19 had the Marketplace Fairness Act not passed allowing localities to collect sales tax for online sales. 
  • ICSC’s publication Shopping Centers Today will become Commerce + Communities Today or C+CT
  • Members will still have access to the membership directory.
  • Members will still have access to industry-leading and proprietary research and leading-edge content.

Get Started!

Want to learn more about Retail Strategies’ approach to Community Innovation? Reach out to us.

Lacy Beasley

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My relationship with the Retail Strategies team has been extremely valuable over the last couple of years as I’ve searched for sites in the Southeast. They have been persistent and provided any information they could gather for available properties that fit my criteria. If they received news that a space was coming available they made sure to immediately give me a call and connect with the owners. I would recommend using this service to any of my colleagues looking in their client cities.

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Retail Strategies has been a tremendous asset to Cypress. They have access to industry and business intelligence in an immensely competitive retail environment. The relationships they develop with commercial/retail property owners delivers results for the city because Retail Strategies excels at marketing their clients.

Peter Grant, City Manager

Cypress, CA

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