Rick Caruso: “Online Helps, Not Hurts Brick and Mortar”

LOS ANGELES--()--Rick Caruso, Founder and CEO of Caruso, one of the largest privately held real estate companies, appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Alley on Monday, April 9 to discuss why he remains bullish on brick-and-mortar retail. He also addressed the so-called “Amazon effect” and shared his contrarian belief that the online retailer has actually been “great” for brick-and-mortar business.

“the social interaction with their customer – the sense of discovery and the sense of experience is critical to an overall retail strategy.”

As the game-changing developer of the country’s most innovative town centers, Rick Caruso is proof that brick-and-mortar businesses can continue to thrive in the 21st Century by providing first class retail service that is part of the fabric of the community. Today, he is only U.S. based developer with two shopping centers in the Top 15 in the world, based on sales per square foot (The Grove and The Americana at Brand).

Key Takeaways:

  • Brick-and-Mortar Must Evolve: Four years ago, Caruso predicted that traditional brick-and-mortar malls would soon be extinct unless they adapted and evolved. According to Caruso, “retailers are suffering because they are stuck in an environment where the consumer does not want to go.” Caruso noted that retailers that continue to innovate and create compelling experiences to engage with their customers will continue to grow and thrive.
  • Online is Helping, not Hurting Brick-and-Mortar: Caruso believes that e-commerce companies like Amazon teach retailers how to be more effective and competitive in the marketplace. This belief echoes one he shared last year at the Milken Global Conference held in Beverly Hills, CA that competition from e-commerce companies “forces retailers to be smarter and know their customers better.”
  • Retail is Shifting to a Hybrid Model: According to Caruso, retail is shifting to a new, hybrid model as online retailers like Amazon recognize that “the social interaction with their customer – the sense of discovery and the sense of experience is critical to an overall retail strategy.”

About Caruso

Caruso is one of the most successful, productive and profitable real estate development and hospitality companies in the world. Headquartered in Los Angeles, California, the privately held company owns and operates a diverse portfolio of retail, residential and mixed-use properties, known for their award-winning architecture, unparalleled guest experiences, and dedication to their local communities. Caruso’s expertise in creating beloved town centers has made its properties desired locations for retail flagships, new to brick-and-mortar tenants, and innovative dining and entertainment concepts. Consistently ranked among the top shopping centers in the world, Caruso properties continue to outperform the industry standards for occupancy rates and average sales per square foot. Included in Caruso’s world-class portfolio are marquee shopping and dining destinations, The Grove and The Americana at Brand, luxury residential building, 8500 Burton Way, and Masonic Temple, a restored 1929 Art Deco landmark converted into innovative Class-A office space. The company continues to focus on expansion and currently investing more than a billion dollars in new lines of business, including a five-star beachfront resort in Montecito, California, and a first-of-its-kind retail, entertainment, and dining collection in Pacific Palisades.


Emily Davis, 323-900-8100