Brick and Mortar Retail Here to Stay

Many reports recently warned of the upcoming extinction of major brick and mortar retail. Why would anyone drive to the store, when just a few clicks could make their purchase appear at the doorstep? According to a new study by A.T. Kearney, there may be more to it than that. Traditionally, a building’s value is confined to the amount of revenue it produces. In light of this new report, however, there is evidence to support a new way of thinking. Not only are buildings valuable because people physically purchase goods there, but because they provide a tangible benefit to the consumer.

Studies indicate there is a multi-step process many consumers follow to purchase an item. Often, the steps follow this order: online research, a trip to the store to examine the product, concluded by an online purchase. The important thing is that the consumer’s process is not exclusively online. Consumers want to be able to see, feel and touch products before they buy them, even if they end up buying them online. Consequently, the value of a building needs to be thought of in broader terms not based exclusively off revenue generation. Evidently, there is significant value to providing the consumer with an opportunity to personally examine products; however, this value is admittedly difficult to quantify. 


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Nick Banks

Nick created Front Street Commercial Real Estate Group in 2002 and spent the first eight years developing and acquiring office and retail projects in South Florida as well as North Central Florida. In 2010 the focus of the firm was shifted to primarily serve third party clients and perform brokerage, property management and mortgage banking functions. Nick has personally developed and acquired nearly 200,000 square feet of office and retail properties in markets throughout Florida. Prior to founding Front Street, Nick was the Director of Finance and Dispositions for Stiles Corporation in Fort Lauderdale where he financed and sold over $500 million in commercial real estate. Before joining Stiles, Nick was an Associate Director at GE Capital Real Estate where he sourced over $200 million in financing throughout Florida. Nick is a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in Finance and a concentration in Real Estate. He serves as a board member and current vice-chair for the United Way of North Central Florida where he also chairs the Development Committee. Nick is actively involved with the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce where he serves as a board member and committee member for the Council for Economic Outreach. He is also a recent graduate of Leadership Gainesville which is a year long leadership program hosted by the Chamber. He is a member of Grace United Methodist Church where he has served as finance chair and as a member of the leadership council. Nick serves as an advisory board member of the University of Florida Bergstrom Center for Real Estate Studies. Nick was recently named chair of the Gainesville committee for the North Florida chapter of Urban Land Institute (ULI). He is a licensed real estate broker in the State of Florida and is a long time member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.

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