IRVINE, CA—The buzz in the retail leasing and development world is all about grocery-store consolidation and creating places for people to gather, socialize and be entertained, Jim Auther, SVP of Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance here, tells These two trends, along with the impact of e-commerce on brick-and-mortar shops, are redefining the retail arena, particularly in Orange County, he says.

“In the Orange County market, one of the interesting developments coming up is the Safeway/Albertsons merger, which includes Vons and Pavilions stores,” says Auther. “It will be interesting to see which stores stay open and which are closing.”

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