Experts Talk ICSC Las Vegas, Talk Brick-And-Mortar Evolution

LAS VEGAS—The brick-and-mortar retail industry continues to evolve. So says Richard Rizika, partner and co-founder of Beta. In preparation for the upcoming ICSC Las Vegas conference, spoke with Rizika among other retail experts about that evolution as well as other key trends in the retail space and what they look forward to at the upcoming live conference in May.

“The evolution is driven by accelerating change in consumer demand,” Rizika tells “The physical store is growing in importance for e- and re-tailers omni-channel success formula.  The consumer is king and wants what it want, when they want t and at the best price.”

CREXi CEO and founder Mike DeGiorgio also is looking forward to watching the continued marriage between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar evolve. “Many retailers and centers are thriving while direct to consumer has hit some bumps in the road along the way,” he explains. “It’s become evident that the strategy probably isn’t ‘either / or’ but ‘both’ and I’m curious to see what that relationship looks like over the next decade.”

DeGiorgio is looking forward to the upcoming event to simply “spend time with the people of our industry.” He adds that “While we closely track data, that data sometimes lacks expression or part of the story and I think it’s important we connect in discussion—over a coffee or drink—to share market intelligence, emerging themes, and new ideas.”

Rizika is also looking forward to connecting with friends at the upcoming event, bringing new projects to market, and above all, getting the chance to continue to learn.

There are also companies like the Sembler Co., for example, who plan to use their booth to highlight the firm’s latest developments and leasing opportunities.

“We’re very pleased to finally be back to in-person ICSC events, and are excited to tell our story,” says Sembler CEO Greg Sembler. “Since the last Las Vegas convention, we’ve started the construction of four new shopping centers, acquired four additional daily needs centers, commenced two new redevelopment projects, and built a healthy pipeline of developments and acquisitions.  Our niche of retail is thriving.”

Sembler is seeing strong demand for its shop space and its new grocery-anchored centers. The company is also seeing excellent activity in its outparcels from quick-service restaurants, automotive, medical and service uses. According to Sembler VP of leasing Eve Sembler, “There’s also been renewed interest from big box retailers… demand is strong!”