Your guide to an insider's  perspective on urban retail

Check out the Dec. 2016 Retailworks, Inc. Newsletter

Especially interesting is their lead article:

"The Future of Retail"

U.S City Planners Increasingly Combining Residential & Commercial Spaces

The scarcity of development land in some of the U.S.’s biggest cities is forcing developers to respond by combining residential and commercial spaces.

Who Patronizes Small Retailers?

Urban developers regularly wax eloquent over the importance of local small businesses. But ultimately, businesses depend on customer support. So, in what markets do customers routinely support small businesses?

New Streetscape Spurs Downtown Turnaround

The city of Lancaster, California, converted a drab, auotomobile-oriented arterial at the heart of downtown into a lively, pedestrian-friendly center. the nine-block makeover of Lancaster Blvd. has become a regional draw and attracted significant economic development in its first two years.

Meals on Wheels: Airstream Row Evolves over 20 Years

The food truck scene is alive and well in Seaside. With its roots beginning in 1996, Seaside has added food trucks to its Airstream Row line-up for 20 years and now has six different meal stops to choose from.

Millennials Actually Like the Suburbs

For the past few years the media has churned out a steady stream of stories describing how city-loving millennials are driving a re-urbanization of the U.S.

How a High "Walk Score" Boosts Your Home's Value

If you left your heart in San Francisco, you can always walk back and get it. The City by the Bay is one of the most walkable in the U.S., according to Redfin's Walk Score Index.

The Town Center Regains Significance

When suburban malls began to stagnate in the early 1990s, the parent company of the retail stalwarts Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret took a chance on a different ind of shopping experience.

Cities Finally Realize they Don't Have to Require so Much Parking

Some cities are starting to get smarter about parking, and that's leading to less driving.

Bob Gibbs Discusses his Report on the Las Cruces Downtown Plan


Bob Gibbs was part of the team that worked on an update of the Downtown Las Cruces, NM  master plan. On Wednesday, February 17, Gibbs presented his findings on the retail demand and viability of Las Cruces' Main Street and surrounding downtown.

As part of his time in Las Cruces, Gibbs met with independent retailers and local business people, coaching them on effective, sales-building strategies. He discusses Gibbs Planning Group's findings and recommendations in a new video.

Trader Joe's : Worth the Hype?

 In 2015, Time magazine reported that Trader Joe's was, for the third year in a row, "named by consumers as their overall favorite supermarket in a survey conducted by Market Force Information."Is Trader Joe’s truly worthy of this hype?

Wanted: 2BR, Near Bars & Restaurants

Last year Susan Vivares bought an 830-square-foot one-bedroom condo for $800,000 in a 1990s apartment building at 123rd Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Restaurants weren’t the sole reason she made the investment, but they played a large role.

Walkable Cities are Better by Almost Any Metric

A new report put together by Smart Growth America, an advocacy group, and academics at the George Washington University School of Business shows that walkable development commands a big rental premium over the drivable, suburban type (a 90% advantage for office space, for example), and that walkable metros are also more "socially equitable." Read more

A Dead Mall Becomes A Downtown for a Sprawling Suburb

Although Lakewood, Colorado, is the fifth largest city in the state, until the last decade the city had no true downtown. Instead, the Denver suburb boasted one of the country’s largest indoor shopping malls, built in the 1960s—but by 2000, that mall was largely vacant.

That mall has been converted to a downtown called Belmar, anchored by a 16-screen cineplex, Whole Foods, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom's, and a bowling alley—surrounded by 76 stores, 20 restaurants, and a block of artist studios. There are nine acres of urban parks and plazas—places that were lacking for the 147,000 residents of Lakewood prior to the transformation. Read more...
Does Opening an Outlet Store Hurt Existing Sales?
New research challenges the notion that lower quality product lines dilute your brand. Read More...

In Some Towns, the Strip Mall Can't Die Fast Enough

The term ‘strip mall’ has become so associated with the drudgery of suburban life that some industry pros have stopped using it altogether, but replacing the actual properties has proven far more difficult. Read more...

Why the Biggest Big Box Stores Survive

Sixty years after gigantic stores entered the American retail landscape, many are closing and filing for bankruptcy. But warehouse stores and club stores are doing something right. Read more...

The Storefront Index

As Jane Jacobs so eloquently described it in The Death and Life of American Cities, much of the essence of urban living is reflected in the “sidewalk ballet” of people going about their daily errands, wandering along the margins of public spaces (streets, sidewalks, parks and squares) and in and out of quasi-private spaces (stores, salons, bars, boutiques, bars and restaurants). Read more...
Cities Act to Protect Neighborhood Businesses

Helping local business owners face down the bias toward national retailers. Read more...

Michigan Malls Adapt to Need for New Anchors with Creative Leasing

Metro Detroit quietly stepped to the forefront of U.S. mall transformations early this year with a deal for a 1/4 million square foot anchor tenant that won't display the latest fashions, attract new customers or push sales per square foot.