By  on December 13, 2019

The International Council of Shopping Centers’ New York Dealmaking 2019 might be remembered as one of the first conferences in recent years to live up to its name. Most participants agree that retail leases typically aren’t signed at the Manhattan conference, nor are leases executed at the organization’s flagship ReCon event in Las Vegas in May. Rather, shopping centers and brands have been engaged in a mating dance where the winner depends upon whom is on top at any given time and the amount of pressure one side can exert on the other to gain concessions.

Not that brands with expansion capabilities have been stampeding the convention floors. Since the recession and Internet disruption those with the desire and wherewithal to open stores have often been direct-to-consumer brands whose idea of aggressive expansion is a handful of units per year, compared with the 50 to 100 locations retailers such as Gap Inc. and Victoria’s Secret rolled out in their heyday.

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