Job Market Nears Pre-Pandemic Unemployment Levels
The past week has been a crazy week for retail-related news. Restaurant expansion plans have surged (as you will see by four entire pages of articles referenced this week—and that wasn’t all of them). Meanwhile, we are starting to see consolidations and merger and acquisition activity tick up. This isn’t just for retail (Dave & Buster’s is purchasing competing experiential barcade The Main Event for $835 million, but also for landlords (Donahue Schriber and their portfolio of 47 shopping centers were purchased by First Washington Realty). Meanwhile, Westfield parent Unibail-Rodamco has stated that they intend to sell off their entire American mall portfolio by the end of next year. And we saw another fevered wave of articles about the metaverse and Chipotle joined Wendy’s in creating their gamified presence online. I’m sticking to my guns on that topic; retailers need to pay attention to what is happening there—this is going to evolve into something. Just exactly what… is not clear yet.
By the way, the metaverse, the mall space, reinvigorating small-town retail and deep dives on the current wave of restaurant growth are all future topics for our newly launched podcast! I am super excited and very proud to announce that, in conjunction with our friends over at ConnexFM (North America’s largest retail facilities management trade organization), we have launched The Retail Grind podcast—now available on all of the major podcast stores.
In each episode, my cohost Bill Yanek (ConnexFM CEO) and I tackle the latest economic, consumer and retail news impacting our sector. If you want to know the latest news on retail and restaurant expansion plans, consumer trends, economic forecasts… you name it… anything that impacts the retail and shopping center worlds we will be covering it in an entertaining and informative show for those of you on the go!
By the way, we are also bringing in some fantastic guests.
Our latest episode features advertising and brand expert Neal Foard, with whom we discuss the importance of storytelling in branding, as well as his takes on social media, division and just who exactly the best bartender in Chicago is.
Also check out our compelling conversation with one of the smartest economists I have ever known, the brilliant Dr. Larry Souza. I have known Dr. Larry for about 20 years and his predictions are always uncanny in their accuracy. In this episode, we discuss inflation, interest rate hikes and the significance of an inverted yield curve as a predictor of future recessions.
I hope you enjoy and subscribe!
See you next week.