While Amazon continues to dominate online retail sales in the U.S., taking business away from the likes of Macy’s, Sears, and JCPenney, many local commercial real estate investors remain unfazed. According to investors such as Paul Sternberg of Houston, while so-called ‘big box’ retailers and department stores are struggling with competition from Amazon, other more local retailers are thriving. With over 15 years of experience, real estate broker and businessman Paul Sternberg delves into the rising popularity of online retailers and the decrease in brick and mortar businesses.
Reports suggest that demand for square footage is down, at the same time, however, real estate experts are predicting that retail strip malls could prove to be some of the most lucrative property investments of the decade. “It’s about varying mindsets,” suggests Houston-based Sternberg. “Technology has afforded us the ability to order quickly, easily, and on the go via the web, yet for many purchases, online can’t beat the local buying experience.”
The investor, entrepreneur, and businessman believe that while consumers continue to flock to sites such as Amazon for many of their purchases, they’re switching back to local, often independent retailers for others. Savvy investors, he says, have put their money into locations ideally suited to these retailers and other ‘Amazon-proof’ businesses. “Amazon will likely continue to dominate in the consumer electronics sector, for example, but there are other areas where the technology giant will remain unable to compete,” suggests Sternberg.
Such businesses, according to the Houston native, include boutique retailers, spas, and salons, as well as businesses such as dry cleaners. “The big tech giants cannot compete here, nor can ‘big box’ retailers such as Walmart,” he adds.
Paul Sternberg of Houston
With such businesses perfectly suited to smaller retail plazas and strip malls, Sternberg remains bullish surrounding commercial real estate, particularly in Houston. “It’s reported that over a quarter of Americans now claim to favor local businesses and brands over larger, particularly tech-focused and online retailers,” he adds of recent figures released by market research and business intelligence portal Statista.
“I believe,” Sternberg of Houston goes on, “that while technology will continue to have an impact on the likes of Macy’s, Sears, and JCPenney, local commercial real estate, such as here in Houston, remains a savvy investment.”
An experienced investor, Paul Sternberg has enjoyed an impressive history of success, from backing Bank of America based on careful research and scrutiny, an investment which has since tripled in value, to investing in highly lucrative NFL personal seat licenses.
“Whether investing in a commercial real estate or something else entirely,” he adds, wrapping up, “it’s about maintaining a unique perspective, adapting to the metamorphosis of technology and business innovation, and always paying close attention to potential new opportunities.”