Lindsay Parton Parton: “There are good things happening in the retail sector. But it is particularly market dependent; markets where there are big barriers to entry or where there is development weakness are where we are seeing the best opportunities moving forward.”

ORANGE COUNTY, CA—From big-box downsizing to Internet shopping and rising costs, the challenges retail real estate faces are great, but the nimblest and most resourceful players will win in the end, experts tell We spoke with a number of executives who have a strong handle on different aspects of the sector to find out some of the biggest challenges retail real estate is facing and how it is overcoming these challenges. Stay tuned for a more in-depth feature on this topic, our Annual Retail Review, in Real Estate Forum’s May issue.

Lindsay Parton, president of DJM Capital Partners, tells the greatest challenge retail is facing is the downsizing of big-box retailers ranging from Sears to JCPenney. “All of the larger big boxes are challenged in trying to get rid of space. Most of this space will be turned into some other type of use, either office or multifamily. This situation does provide both challenges and opportunities. Operators like DJM are taking advantage of these opportunities while we have them, but it is a fundamental rebalancing of the retail format around America and around the world. Particularly in the US, we have come to be essentially over-retailed.”

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Carrie Rossenfeld

Carrie Rossenfeld is a reporter for the San Diego and Orange County markets on and a contributor to Real Estate Forum. She was a trade-magazine and newsletter editor in New York City before moving to Southern California to become a freelance writer and editor for magazines, books and websites. Rossenfeld has written extensively on topics including commercial real estate, running a medical practice, intellectual-property licensing and giftware. She has edited books about profiting from real estate and has ghostwritten a book about starting a home-based business.

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