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Retail and Tech in Miami Continue to Expand

Javier F. Aviñó

At the Beacon Council’s annual One Community One Goal Meeting, national retail department store Macy’s announced that it will be bringing its fashion incubator to Miami in order to foster and keep talent in Miami. In its two other locations in Chicago and Philadelphia, the Macy’s incubator has served as a residency on the business of fashion with a mentoring and educational component that provides training ranging from business planning, sales and marketing to pattern production and proportion theory. These incubators are two of five major fashion incubators in the country, among which is one created by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The Macy’s incubator will select local emerging designers and provide workspace, curriculum, mentoring and other guidance and resources that will help the designers launch their fashion businesses.

Macy’s incubator will join the ranks of Miami incubators such as Venture Hive, which recently partnered with Microsoft to open its first U.S.-based Innovation Center, and future venture incubator CREATE to be opened by Miami Dade College this September. The Macy’s incubator stands out as an incubator that will have a unique retail and fashion focus. There may be an opportunity for fashion and technology to merge if the Macy’s incubator decides to allow its designers to showcase their debut collections online like the CFDA did earlier this year.

Miami is the prime location for such an incubator as the retail industry continues to expand in Miami with, among many other major developments, the growth and development of the Design District, the expansions of Dolphin Mall and Bayside Marketplace and the planned development of Miami WorldCenter, for which Macy’s is an anchor tenant along with Bloomingdale’s.

Based on our experience representing retailers and retail developers, we predict that the retail industry in South Florida will continue to flourish.  A large international tourist base, as well as great year-round weather that shields retailers from the negative effects of long winters, such as those experienced throughout the rest of the country this past winter, are just two reasons why South Florida is the ideal location for the growth of retail. And now, as the rise of the technology industry in Miami boosts entrepreneurship, attracts investors, and encourages the relocation of financial companies, Miami is no doubt an ideal place for an incubator that will train fashion designers and prepare them to launch successful fashion businesses.

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