WATCH: RKF’s Robert Futterman says NYC’s retail market is “definitely not” f*cked

The retail chief talks Amazon and Whole Foods, pop-up shops and more

New York /
Aug.August 15, 2017 01:10 PM

It was the quote heard ’round the retail world.

In April, Billy Macklowe didn’t mince words with his take on city’s ailing retail market. “I think retail is fucked, plain and simple,” he said during a panel at the Haute Residence luxury real estate summit.

But in a recent interview at The Real Deal’s Hudson Yards headquarters, RKF founder and CEO Robert Futterman said he thinks it could be the other way around.

“I think Billy was confused,” Futterman told TRD’s Konrad Putzier. “I think he meant that he was f-ed — because he walks into his apartment every night and sees the lobby filled with Net-a-Porter deliveries, he must assume that nobody’s shopping in retail stores.”

Despite increasing empty storefronts and rising availability rates, Futterman counts himself as an optimist. Though his comments were made tongue-in-cheek, Futterman said Macklowe isn’t in the “thick of the retail business the way were are.”

As for the impending retail apocalypse? Futterman said the market is experiencing normal ups and downs, just as other sectors of real estate do.

“Buyers paid too much and tenants can’t afford to pay the rent, so you have vacancy,” Futterman said. “Real estate by nature is cyclical.”

To watch Futterman discuss how e-commerce could bolster brick-and-mortar shops, Amazon’s major play for Whole Foods and more on New York’s retail market, watch the video above.

Produced by Alistair Gardiner and Kerry Barger. Interview conducted by Konrad Putzier.

For more videos, visit The Real Deal’s YouTube page.


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