America is recovering from COVID-19 and is well on its way to opening back up. Part of that recovery involves the retail and foodservice industries examining the current landscape and its future. Business closures could mean all new opportunities for commercial expansion and the challenges that come with an increased physical presence. COVID-19 has caused many of the aforementioned closures and it has seen supply chains shift in an unforeseen manner. All of these changes would be easier to manage if industry leaders could get together to explore options, but physical distancing has made this nigh impossible. The ICSC RECon and NRA restaurant show would have been the perfect venues for the innovation needed to move forward, but that innovation will have to happen on a different stage.

Companies like Nordstrom and Steak ‘n Shake have been hit hard by COVID-19 and have begun closing stores as a result. In addition, Lord & Taylor is exploring bankruptcy following the complete liquidation of their stores. Companies like these are mainstays in their industries and have owned coveted real estate for years. These prime properties will be sought out by competitors looking to revitalize their business, especially if the market follows the previous recession where leasing costs fell. The ICSC Recon show is often used as a staging area for companies to deepen their understanding of the real estate market. With this show now on hiatus, it falls on others to provide a platform for deal making in the commercial real estate industry. We are ready to answer that call with our Leading Chain Tenants database that can provide aid in tracking down the leads needed to close deals with the major chains. CSG has been entrenched in the industry for decades and our data can help you navigate the future while avoiding the pitfalls of the past. Forever 21 is a perfect example of a company not using the proper data to plan its store expansions. They rapidly expanded when leases were cheap during the last recession which led to a bankruptcy filing and the shuttering of stores.  CSG’s data can be used to decide which companies are at risk for overexpansion and which are growing. An examination of Forever 21 would have shown their slow growth in revenue vs high growth rates to which property owners could have predicted they were going to spread themselves too thin.

Restaurants have been open in some parts of America for over a week and have started to see customers return. As expected, the influx of patrons has been more of a trickle than a flood, but restaurants are starting to rebuild. Many chains have discovered that the same old business tactics will not draw clients back into the dining room, but manufacturers have new technology that can be used overcome the unique challenges of COVID-19 and entice diners back to the table. The NRA restaurant show would be the perfect place to debut this technology and its benefits, but the 2020 show has been cancelled with all resources being moved to 2021. For most businesses, 2021 is too long to wait and these innovations need to reach the industry now. As an example, Flippy the automated burger machine and robotic pizza assembly lines could help alleviate the fears of consumers and revolutionize foodservice. Unfortunately, great ideas like these can be stifled without the proper platform to reach the target audience. CSG can provide that platform with our restaurant and foodservice databases. Leads from CSG can be used by manufacturers to find the restaurants that need this innovative technology to thrive.

The speculation over what reopened businesses would look like has come to a close. The emphasis now falls on the future as every industry attempts to rebuild and implement new measures to reach profitability and safety. While the loss of two major tradeshows have left a void in their industries, CSG is here to close the gap.