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New York set to welcome ICSC

Change is in the air as New York gets set to welcome the International Council of Shopping Center’s New York Deal Making conference.

The event will take place at the Jacob Javits Center from December 4 to 6 and will debut its “Retail in Focus” theme this year.

The theme features new brands that are reshaping how consumers shop, through click-to-bricks, experiential installations and using different methods to capture their audience.

“Adding Retail in Focus to the event not only exposes participants to the future of retail but it is a key component in how ICSC is helping its members to reimagine the future and prepare for the change ahead,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC.

The conference will showcase several rising brands including: Allbirds, the San Francisco-based footwear company that offers “the world’s most comfortable shoes.” The brand was founded in 2014 and is known for its environmentally friendly shoes made of wool and tree fibers.

Candytopia, an interactive candy museum that feels like a real-life Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. The experiential venture began with a pop-up in Los Angeles and recently opened up in at 145 West 32nd Street in August.

Dormify, an apartment furniture shop designed specifically for dorm life and small spaces. The company was created in 2011 with Amanda Zuckerman and her mom, Karen, who sought to fill the void of fashionable dorm décor.

M.Gemi, an e-commerce site that brings hand-crafted footwear from boutique Italian workshops to America. The company drops new, limited-edition designs each Monday and offers a portal into Italian luxury footwear.

Other newcomers include Neighborhood Goods, UNTUCKit and Winky Lux, a cosmetics company that avoids chemicals and animal testing.

There will also be a heavy focus on technology brands that are trying to push retail forward:

  • DogSpot, a way to park your dog in an air-conditioned shelter while you need to run errands inside a store.
  • Farmshelf, a startup that builds indoor farms on shelves for restaurants and hotels to grow their own fresh produce year-round.
  • Mallcomm, a communication tool that is used to easily facilitate communication between shopping center management and their retailers.
  • Memomi, a virtual mirror that offers shoppers 360-degree back and side views and color swaps of whatever they’re trying on in real time.

Outside the companies showcasing their brand and products, experts will be on hand to discuss how the retail world is evolving.

The event’s keynote speaker is Doug Stephens, the founder of Retail Prophet, a retail advisory services firm.

And panels will cover topics ranging from social media to start-up brands have evolved into serious companies.

“The incorporation of technology and innovation into retail real estate has changed the way consumers shop and interact with brands and products,” McGee said.

“The discussion is no longer bricks versus clicks, but how the two can be seamlessly integrated to best serve the consumer and community. Technology is a key facilitator of this integration.”

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