August 22, 2016
In June, The Crescent, uptown’s popular mixed-use complex, unveiled the results of a $33 million renovation project, the first since The Crescent’s opening in 1986. That opening triggered extensive development throughout the area, which has become more pedestrian-centered over the years. The renovation project was in part intended to accommodate this change.
The complex includes a luxury hotel, three office towers, and restaurants and retail shops. The recent additions include several new restaurants as well as revamped landscaping and the addition of several pocket parks. Eateries include the Ascension coffee house and Moxie’s Grill and Bar, among others.
There is an increased focus on pedestrians and walkability, which is an overarching trend in the retail market, both for DFW and nationwide. So that’s one trend: Mixed- use spaces that provide a better pedestrian experience. What else is big on the DFW retail scene?
There’s no denying the importance of online shopping to the world of retail, but while e-commerce has grown at a monstrous rate, total sales are still much higher at brick and mortar locations. Online shopping has outpaced in-store growth 5 to 1, but it still accounts for only a fraction of overall retail spending. While online purchases total over $38 billion annually, spending in stores is at $144 billion. In 2015, 94% of total retail sales were generated at brick and mortar stores.
What does this mean for retail in DFW? As is the case in many markets, we are seeing a change in space priorities for retailers who are incorporating electronic shopping into the in-store experience.
3) Shifts in Fulfillment
With the popularity of ideas like “click and collect” which lets customers purchase items online and then pick them up in the store, retailers’ requirements for floor space and storage are changing.
Smaller, more centrally located storage facilities are utilized, and stores are becoming fulfillment centers as well as showrooms for products also available online. North Texas is an important hub for retail distribution; Amazon opened its fourth fulfillment facility in DFW in April 2016, north of the Alliance Airport. Individual retailers are exploring ways to meet customer expectations in this same-day-delivery environment.
4) Transit-Oriented Retail
A trend in major cities is clustering retail development near public transportation. In DFW, the city’s light and commuter rail stations provide ideal hubs for mixed-use development, and this trend seems to be picking up steam. Some promising stops are Mockingbird Station, CityPlace/West Village, South Side on Lamar, and the Shops at Park Lane.
5) Grocery as Anchor
With many retail centers struggling to fill large vacant properties, there is a trend to rely on grocers rather than department stores as shopping center anchors. Shoppers are drawn to their favorite grocery on a regular basis, creating a reliable source of traffic for surrounding retailers. The inclusion of outdoor spaces, dining options, and special events encourages shoppers to spend time in retail centers.
Some examples of this trend in our area are the new Waterside development from Trademark, and their Westbend center, which includes a Fresh Market location.