Shopping Centers Today International

JAN 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 36 of 59

J a n u a r y 2 0 1 6 / S C T 37 n an era of globalization, many of us know that the world is, as best-selling author thomas friedman put it, increasingly flat. yet that was hard to tell last year. some corners of the globe, particularly the u.s. and parts of europe, saw their economies continue to strengthen, while others, like brazil, were mired in reces- sion as 2015 drew to a close. indeed, the u.s. shopping center industry in 2015 was at its strongest in years, thanks in part to an improved job market, rising consumer confidence and healthy fundamentals. but slower growth in China threatened to become the "new normal," and that country's stock market was rocked by volatility, contributing to global economic headwinds. of course, the u.s. stock market, too, saw volatility last year, with the prospect of higher interest rates and other issues weighing heavily on investors' minds. retailers and shopping center operators also continued to adjust to the new realities of an omni-channel retail world last year, and many are emerging stronger than ever, as they become digital players in their own right. as 2015 began to wind down, the editors of SCT explored the omni-channel issue and other trends with a diverse group of executives and thought leaders. here we reflect on the year that was 2015 and provide a glimpse of what lies ahead. ☛ Global retail real estate leaders share their insiGhts on what to eXPeCt in the year ahead By Anna Robaton I WHAT'S IN STORE FOR 2016

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