chi-AESOP-US-STORE-BUCKTOWN-01 (3) Aesop's first Chicago location in Bucktown, usesthousands of reclaimed bricks to reflect the neighborhood'shistory.

CHICAGO—The recent bankruptcy of Sears, one ofAmerica's most iconic retailers, has focused yet more attention onthe troubled sector. And no one doubts that the rise of e-commercehas altered how people shop, and will continue shakingbrick-and-mortar retailers for the foreseeable future. At the sametime, however, many in the commercial real estate sector also seeopportunities coming into focus as the reconstruction of the sectorcontinues.

“I am a lot more optimistic than I was 12 months ago,”Anthony Campagni of A▪R▪C Real EstateGroup, tells “This is more of a retailevolution than a retail apocalypse. The fear that retail will bedestroyed seems to be past us.”

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.