Skip To The Main Content

The Experience of Shopping

Written by Katie Hennegan, Vice President


One of the reasons I got into the retail commercial real estate business and have stayed here for over 10 years is because I have a love for shopping. I love physically walking into a store and combing the racks to find that perfect gift for someone or for myself. I find it therapeutic and an instant mood lifter. Since the option for online shopping became available, there has been the question of its impact on traditional brick and mortar retail stores.

However in a recent article published on ICSC’s website, it states that “online retail sales came to some $263 billion, which accounts for only 6 percent of total retail sales," according to the Commerce Department. "In-store sales, meanwhile, totaled about $4.3 trillion.”  It seems retailers are also continuing to pay attention to this with many previously exclusive on-line retailers expanding into physical stores such as Warby Parker, Bonobos, and Lily Rain for example.   

Along with store expansion, retailers are not only focusing on getting stores open, but they're truly focusing on the experience inside the stores to draw in consumers, keep them there and keep them coming back.

I recently attended IREJ’s Chicagoland Retail State of the Market Conference. As also mentioned in this recap summary of the panel involved and trends noted, one of the biggest takeaways for me was how retailers are targeting more and more to the Millennials as they will be the biggest consumers in the coming years. This generation demands an experience while shopping. Since this generation is much more tech savvy and glued to their smart phones, retailers are getting creative and coming up with ways to capture their attention. So, we’re seeing new Whole Foods stores adding bars and restaurants, piano players at Mariano’s and Target pursuing a liquor license for their new Streeterville store.

It seems like these are investments worth making with 94% of spending happening in the store. It also seems my job in leasing is secure, although my bank account may be in trouble. 

Katie Hennegan | Vice President
Mid-America Asset Management, Inc.

One Parkview Plaza, 9th Floor | Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Direct: 630.954.7233 | Fax: 630.954.7306 | Web Design
Website designed and developed by, Inc.