Why Local and Experiential Retail’s Hot in Seattle

January 17, 2017

The leader of MG2's Retail studio, Principal MJ Munsell, shares her thoughts at the recent Bisnow "Future of Retail" panel.

Retail’s a tough environment for some, with robust growth for others, the speakers at our Seattle Retail event said — which is the same as always, except the winners and losers constantly shift around. The question is, what makes a retailer successful in the digital age?

The speakers first offered a rundown on some of the broader retail fundamentals. Holiday retail sales were up 4% in November and December compared with last year, and sales were up for the last three quarters of 2016 compared with a year earlier, also by about 4%. Online sales are zooming: up 11% year-over-year, while in-store sales gained 2.7%. Amazon dominated the holiday season, garnering 38% of online revenue. The next closest competitor was Best Buy, with 4%. RetailNext, which analyzed 31 million shopping trips, estimated sales at brick-and-mortar chains dropped 10% in November and December, but average transaction value increased 5%. Panelists included Seattle Pacific Realty partner Jeffrey Rosen, who moderated the retail panel, Lake Union Partners principal Joe Ferguson, TRF Pacfic principal Rick Parks, MG2 Architecture principal M.J. Munsell and Hollard Partner Group retail development director Jeff Bernard.

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