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New York Deal Making to Showcase Emerging Brands
New York Ag Connection - 11/08/2018

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) will debut "Retail in Focus" at the 2018 New York Deal Making, Dec. 4-6 at the Javits Center in New York City. Retail in Focus, combined with the second-annual Innovation Exchange, will provide event participants with a preview of the future of retail, through engaging hands-on displays and demonstrations.

Retail in Focus will feature many of the emerging brands that are reshaping shopping for consumers today. They include digital-natives who are moving to the next stage of their lifecycle by adding a physical retail footprint, creators of interactive installations that are driving unique customer experiences and retailers who are captivating their audiences in new and creative ways. Additionally, Innovation Exchange will return for a second year and feature the latest in retail technologies, live demonstrations and hands-on access to products.

Recognizing that physical locations are an integral part of any retailer's business and growth plans, Retail in Focus will provide an opportunity for retailers to connect with peers and members of the real estate community in a manner that might be unlikely outside an event such as New York Deal Making. Over 20 retailers were hand selected to participate, including WinkyLux, Candytopia, Allbirds, Dormify, M.Gemi, Neighborhood Goods and UNTUCKit, among others.

"We are thrilled to be the catalyst for showcasing emerging retailers as well as providing a platform for them to connect with the owners and operators of the physical spaces they are looking to inhabit," said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. "Adding Retail in Focus to the event not only exposes participants to the future of retail but it is a key component in how ICSC is helping its members to reimagine the future and prepare for the change ahead."

Physical locations offer an opportunity for consumers to interact with a brand in a tangible, meaningful way that can't be replicated online. ICSC's 2018 study "The Halo Effect: How Bricks Impact Clicks" revealed that a new brick-and-mortar location positively impacts consumer perceptions and the brand's digital footprint, increasing web traffic by an average of 37 percent.

"The incorporation of technology and innovation into retail real estate has changed the way consumers shop and interact with brands and products," McGee continued. "The discussion is no longer bricks versus clicks, but how the two can be seamlessly integrated to best serve the consumer and community. Technology is a key facilitator of this integration."

From virtual and augmented reality to body scanning and beacons, the tech future of retail is here and will be available for hands-on trial and exploration again at this year's event. Innovation Exchange's over 20 exhibitors will include Dog Spot, Farmshelf, Memomi, Mallcomm, roOomy and VirtualAPT, among others. Each company will provide a full product demonstration and the technology will be available for handling and testing throughout New York Deal Making.

In addition to the floorspace, there also will be exceptional content at both Retail in Focus and Innovation Exchange so attendees can gain insights from industry leaders. Topics will include venture capital and funding; how to leverage social media to grow a brand; and peer discussions between founders of the companies that are shaping the future of retail.

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