We see so many headlines about the "retail apocalypse" - and hear so many debates about whether it is real or not. It is true that some proportion of the many chain store closures in the past few years is because the chains expanded too rapidly and were over-leveraged. But it is also true that, at this point in 2019, there have already been more chain store closures than in all of 2018. Under all the rhetoric about the retail apocalypse, there are some profound demographic, psychographic, and economic shifts taking place that are shaping a new retail reality. It's important to separate these two parallel phenomena.
The Community Land Use and Economics Group is a small, specialized, consulting firm that helps community leaders create vibrant downtowns and neighborhood commercial centers. Our work focuses on developing forward-looking economic transformation strategies, with particular emphasis on cultivating locally owned businesses, removing regulatory and financial barriers, creating effective incentives to stimulate new investment, reusing older and historic commercial buildings, and outlining practical implementation plans. Our clients include local and state governments, nonprofit organizations, business improvement districts, developers, and planning firms in the US and abroad.