There Was Never a Better Time to Meet in Shanghai

By Michael P. Kercheval, President & CEO, ICSC

There are seismic swings taking place in retail and retail real estate. Emerging markets now represent the largest opportunities for development, new revenue streams and job creation. Opinions may vary as to what degree, but there can be no argument that we are witnessing an unprecedented shift in the global market paradigm. The 2012 ICSC Retail Real Estate World Summit in Shanghai (September 11-14, 2012) is where the future will unfold.

The ICSC has invited the highest profile leaders from the retail, development, lending and public sector communities ever assembled under oneroof to share their analysis, insight and forecasts on what the future holds for economies worldwide. Each of the speakers has been handpicked for his/her expertise, influence and power to affect cultural, economic and political change. Attending the ICSC World Summit provides unprecedented access to and insights from the most senior political, industry and financial markets’ representatives regarding success stories and high-level strategies for capitalizing on opportunities from the globalization of retail.

Quite frankly, never before have we faced such categorical uncertainty. This major expansion in the middle class in emerging markets will lead the world economy to rely on this key demographic as a primary source of demand.

Among the myriad issues being addressed at the World Summit are:

1. Socio Economic Wave: a booming middle class in emerging markets creates new retail opportunities

2. Plateauing of New Development: while development in mature markets may have plateaued, emerging markets will present the industry’s growth opportunities for the immediate future

3. Retailers Going Global: attendees gain insight from retailers who are already leading the way by crossing borders and broadening their brands

4. Capital Flows: Investment strategies can mean big gains and big loses — retail real estate has proven to be stable with little fluctuation

5. Collapse of Employment: other than government-subsidized programs, new retail development is the driving force in creating jobs for communities and providing a vibrant supply chain for commerce

The fundamentals of our industry are changing and these seismic shifts will impact everyone in retail and retail real estate.

For the ICSC, hosting the World Summit in Shanghai seemed a natural fit, as it is truly a microcosm for what is occurring within the industry globally. While Shanghai has positioned itself as a leading global city, it also represents an immense growth opportunity as an emerging marketplace for retailers and shopping center developers. Its burgeoning middle class will demand not only more retail space, but retail space that is better and more efficient in its operations and management.

Because Shanghai is an epicenter for this new industry paradigm, we could think of no better place to host the 2012 World Summit.

By joining other industry professionals at the World Summit, attendees will enjoy the unprecedented opportunity to engage the brightest thinkers from retail, development, government and capital markets, and gain valuable insight on how navigate this evolving industry landscape.

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