As a result, Byron Carlock, PwC's U.S. real estate practice leader, said retailers who offer a good value and cater to millennials' tendency to live a "throwaway" lifestyle—including a penchant for fast, cheap fashion and low-price furniture they can throw away when they move—will thrive.
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"The millennials are the cohort we have to watch," Carlock said.
Dan Hurwitz, CEO of open-air shopping center owner DDR, said fast-fashion stores Zara and Forever 21 will continue to grow their footprints and be mainstays. He also predicted department stores that offer consumers good value will continue to outperform—including what he called a "deeply promotional" Macy's; Nordstrom, which is expanding its off-price Rack division; and Neiman Marcus, which is growing its lower-priced Last Call division.
Experts have also pointed to the low-price Japanese label Uniqlo as an international brand with the potential to become a U.S. mainstay. The company's CEO Tadashi Yanai said earlier this year that the brand would ultimately like to have chains of 100 stores on both coasts.
Steve Barr, PwC's U.S. Retail and Consumer practice leader, said the off-price focus delivered by outlet centers will also be important to both shoppers and retailers, who use the stores as a way to attract new customers. Although some have criticized the segment's vulnerability as it relates to the deep discounting seen at full-price retailers and the closer proximity of off-price stores, others view outlets as a destination and say they will continue to be relevant.
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"The outlet channel is very profitable for many retailers, and I don't see that changing any time soon," Barr said.