Is e-commerce a frenemy of retail real estate?

Experts weigh in on the mistakes retailers have made, the bright spots in the market and why online and brick-and-mortar need each other
By Matthew Egan | May 31, 2017 08:45AM

Nadeem Meghji, John Ragland and Gregg Gerken

From the retail issue: These days everyone is trumpeting retail’s downturn, with each earnings call, retail conference and panel seeming to ending in the same rueful refrain.

Recently, billionaire investor-slash-oracle Warren Buffett shared his perspective on the retail landscape: “The department store is online now.”

“I have no illusion that 10 years from now will look the same as today, and there will be a few things along the way that surprise us,” he added during Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting on May 6, Business Insider reported.

While the facts — including bankruptcies and rampant store closings — can’t be disputed, many retail real estate experts are more optimistic than one might expect. [more]