JC Goldenstein: Retail Sales and Online Buzz in the Run Up to ICSC Recon Eases Growth Worries

An improving job outlook and a mild winter helped Americans shrug off high gas prices. Retail sales continued to outperform economist expectations, leading to gains in retail leasing. By analyzing CREOpoint’s crowd-sourced data, covering tens of thousands of news sources, online articles, forum posts and tweets mentioning ICSC and retail each day from October 15, 2011 to April 15, 2012, it is clear that something fundamental is also happening.

The use of the words “recession” and “crisis” were being replaced by more positive words like “improvement” and “good”!  What does this mean for commercial real estate? Momentum. We’re seeing a growing number of leading retail REITs and large tenants improve their buzz analytics for leading indicators. As fear retreats, growth is not far behind, and we expect Recon 2012 to be cautiously optimistic.

By the way, in your excitement don’t forget that much of what happens in Vegas will also find its way in search engines … Industry leaders are increasingly recognizing that social media immediately amplifies negative buzz about their brands and reputations (think Best Buy CEO), and can have an impact on positive imaging and sales if used effectively (Apple and JLL currently lead CREObuzz™ pre- ICSC Recon 2012 rankings…).

Stay tuned for our upcoming insights, as well as powerful social media management dashboards and filtered news mobile apps to help you manage in this new and challenging environment.

JC Goldenstein and Michael Lagazo, CREOpoint