With ICSC Chicago Deal Making in the rearview mirror, JLL’s starting lineup of Retail associates sat down with us to talk trends, submarkets and their favorite places for retail therapy.
What part of the city do you live in and where do you like to shop?
I live in the western suburbs in Medinah. If I’m home, you’ll find me shopping at Oakbrook Center. When I’m downtown, I like to explore the stores on Michigan Avenue and State Street. If you’re looking to stay on-trend at a new, upstart retailer in Chicago, check out Shinola in Bucktown for watches, bicycles and leather goods.
What’s Chicago’s most up-and-coming retail submarket?
The West Loop. Expect to see larger national tenants testing the waters in the area, which has become a tech office mecca and is beginning to establish itself as a retail presence in Chicago. Everyone is swarming around the neighborhood, but the floodgates will really open once a big name brand takes that first step.
What’s the biggest retail trend nobody is talking about?
The pop-up shop. It’s an innovative way to use empty space and carries a low financial commitment for retailers looking to short-term test the success of particular locations. Canadian retailer Kit and Ace is trying one in the West Loop for one year to evaluate its prospects in the market.
What retailers will we see growing in Chicago in 2016?
Fast casual dining options will continue to dominate as a growth market in Chicago retail, with the biggest need in the West Loop. South African chain Nando’s has been a prime mover in this space with three locations already open around Chicago, and a unique example of an out-of-town retailer entering the city in a young market like the West Loop.
What’s your favorite retailer space in Chicago and why?
The Nike flagship at 669 N. Michigan Ave. Like other successful big brand flagships that “just do it,” the space and customer experience do a great job marketing the brand. The size and scale of flagships may not correlate to comparable in-store sales, but the positive effects on brand identity are immeasurable and difficult to achieve via online channels alone.… Read More