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US consumers remain resilient, even as UK uncertainty swirls, retail execs say

Consumer confidence rebounds in June
Consumer confidence rebounds in June

"The US consumer is resilient," said Conor Flynn, CEO of Kimco Realty when asked about the consumer-confidence impact from the United Kingdom's recent vote to leave the European Union.

Flynn's real estate investment company owns and operates 550 open-air shopping centers, and according to him, retail maintains its "balanced supply and demand," in spite of Brexit.

"There's significant demand for high quality retail space … and no new supply," he noted, which allows Kimco to raise its rents.

Other retail watchers believe consumers will keep right on shopping.

Len Schlesinger, former vice chairman and COO of L Brands, says he expects consumer confidence to go undeterred by the U.K.'s vote. He pointed out that in times of uncertainty the expectation is for consumers to act as if "the world is coming off of the rafters," but how "that's not the case with Americans."

"The American that elects to go to Europe this summer," Schlesinger said, "is going to be treated a whole portfolio of bargains."

CORRECTION: Len Schlesinger previously served as vice chairman and COO of L Brands. He left the company years ago. That was misstated in an earlier version of this article.