Retail-design executive says look to Detroit for future of retail

The future of retail will be in Detroit, said Ken Nisch, chairman of JGA Inc., during a presentation at the National Retail Federation's Big Show in Manhattan. According to an article in the Detroit News, the large crowd included major international retail executives and experts who wanted to understand how to best integrate online shopping with brick-and-mortar stores. 

Despite the fact that upscale shopping has not been central to Detroit for 40 years, few national vendors opened stores in the city, and shopping malls have never had a place here, Detroit is well positioned in retail. Shopping malls are beginning to die out, after all, and Nisch thinks Detroit is well-positioned to thrive.

Todd Sachse, vice president of Broder & Sachse Real Estate, agrees with Nisch. He says that about $5.2 billion has went towards development projects downtown Detroit, and that more retail will follow. 

Louis Aguilar writes, "Detroit's emerging scene of DIY retailers is full of unique customer experiences, Nisch contends. They include Detroit is the New Black, an apparel and accessories shop focusing on local designers; and the Peacock Room, a women's apparel and accessories store with a vintage bent. And it's attracting more unique retailers such as City Bakery, a New York cafe and bakery with locations in Manhattan, Tokyo and now, the Fisher Building in New Center."

Nisch thinks it's possible national chains like Target might locate in Detroit in the coming years, but the stores would be smaller and offer products that coincide with the city and its people.

Read more articles by Chanel Stitt.

Chanel Stitt is a Model D editorial intern and currently studying journalism at U-M Dearborn.
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