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ACWI Advance – May 15, 2021

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In this issue of ACWI Advance we take a closer look at these stories:

  • CRE investors are optimistic about the future of retail stores and shopping centers.
  • Cushman & Wakefield also predicts a bright future for bricks-and-mortar retail.
  • A third of those working from home would quit if required to be in an office full time.
  • The online grocery market finished March with a whopping $9.3 billion in sales.
  • Strong buyer demand pushed home builder confidence up in April.
  • ALAN opens nominations for its Humanitarian Logistics Awards.
  • Canadian National and Canadian Pacific battle over Kansas City Southern.

Send your company news to Editor David Sparkman at dspark@comcast.net, and please understand that there is no cost to you when we use your news in this newsletter.


Future of Shopping Already Here

The retail real estate industry is optimistic about the economic recovery and the innovative future of stores and shopping centers, according to a new ICSC survey of retailers and commercial real estate (CRE) companies.

After safety protocols brought about by the pandemic caused sharp declines in foot traffic, 60% of CRE leaders and 55% of retailers expect a return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. ICSC contends that this is something of a testament to the resilience of consumers and their strong desire to safely return to brick-and-mortar retail.

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CRE Firm Sees Retail Growing

The future of bricks-and-mortar retail is strong in spite of the explosive growth we have seen in ecommerce during the Coronavirus pandemic, reports the commercial real estate services firm of Cushman & Wakefield.

The share of retail sales that takes place over the Internet is projected to decline slightly in the near-term following the Covid 19 induced surge, the company says in a recent report on the industry.

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Don’t Make Me Go to the Office

About one in three professionals (34%) currently working from home due to the pandemic would look for a new job if required to be in the office full time, according to a new study by the global staffing firm of Robert Half International.

Nearly half of all employees surveyed (49%) said they prefer a hybrid work arrangement where they can divide time between the office and another location.

However, if given the opportunity to be fully remote, 28% of professionals expressed concerns about relationships with coworkers suffering, 26% citing decreased productivity while at home, and 20% noted fewer career advancement opportunities due to a lack of visibility.

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Pickup Governs Online Groceries

The online grocery market finished March with $9.3 billion in sales, a return to January’s record spending levels, as over 69 million households placed an average of 2.8 online orders during the month, according to a grocery shopping survey conducted by Brick Meets Click and Mercatus.

The poll found that about 69.3 million households placed one or more online orders during March 2021, compared to 74.5 million during the same period a year ago when stay-at-home orders and retail restrictions first went into effect nationwide.

The 43% jump in sales versus year ago, when sales were $6.5 billion, quantifies the disruptive impact of a pandemic that continues to alter the way people get their groceries, according to the researchers.

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Home Builders Face SC Test

Strong buyer demand pushed home builder confidence up in April even as builders continued to grapple with rising lumber prices and supply chain issues and consumers faced higher home prices due to a lack inventory.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) shows builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes rose one point to 83 in April“.

Despite strong buyer traffic, builders continue to face challenges to add much needed housing supply to the market,” said NAHB Chairman Chuck Fowke, a custom home builder from Tampa, Fla.

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ALAN Seeking Award Nominees

The American Logistics Aid Network has opened nominations for its fifth annual Humanitarian Logistics Awards for members of the industry and researchers who have contributed to the field.

“Many humanitarian efforts couldn’t happen – or happen as well – without the generosity of the supply chain community,” said ALAN Executive Director Kathy Fulton. “These awards were created to shine a light on that generosity and honor some of our industry’s most unsung heroes.”

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CP-KCS Merger Is a Royal Mess

The proposed merger of the Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern railroads was proceeding smoothly when it crashed into a roadblock erected by Canadian National in the form of a rival bid for control of KCS.

Before KCS shareholders had a chance mull over CN’s late-announced offer, on April 23 the Surface Transportation Board announced the CP-KCS approval process could proceed under what are called the old merger rules, which the STB had in place prior to 2001, when it chose to adopt what are characterized as the new rules.

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