Every industry has its own version of the bulging cigar box. Retailers and developers measure success by sales per square foot. In the magazine industry we count ad pages and yield per page.

So while the retail real estate industry congratulates itself on another wonderful year at the ICSC Spring Convention this month, we are pleased to report that 2006 is off to a roaring start for Retail Traffic. We thank all of our advertising partners who have helped us meet our growth goals and have made our cigar box bulge.

Changing of the guard

The issue you are holding — our fattest since 2000 — marks another milestone. It is the last issue edited by Beth Karlin, who has been editor-in-chief since 2003. It was Beth's hard work and vision that three years ago transformed Retail Traffic into the thoughtful, lively, issue-oriented magazine that it is today — the publication that has become essential reading for leaders of the industry.

Whether it was taking on the uncomfortable topic of mall security or exposing the pitfalls of cotenancy contracts, under Beth Retail Traffic has told readers what they need to know — not just what makes them feel good. We are exceedingly proud that the security package “Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid,” September 2005, was a finalist for the Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award, the Oscar of our business.

Beth is leaving New York to make a lifestyle change. She's relocating to Miami, where, she notes, her new apartment is near the soon-to-open Mary Brickell Village, a mixed-use project that is part of the downtown revival.

We will miss Beth tremendously — her commitment to the highest standards of business journalism, her eye for a fresh story, her ability to turn a phrase, her sense of humor and her style. As we wish her good luck in her new life, we thank her for one final good deed: Grooming a worthy successor in David Bodamer.

It is with great pleasure that I announce that David assumes the editor-in-chief role with the June issue. David, who joined us as managing editor 18 months ago, has a spectacular pedigree for his new job. He holds a B.A. in architecture from the University of Virginia and has a deep background in all aspects of commercial real estate. He has been an editor at Commercial Property News and at ICSC's Shopping Centers Today. He has contributed to Real Estate Journal, The Wall Street Journal's commercial real estate Web site and has provided sharp analysis of the REIT business for our sister publication, Registered Rep., the top magazine for financial advisors.

Congratulations, David!

What is ahead?

Under David's stewardship, we expect to continue to spot the trends that matter in retail real estate. And while our focus remains fixed on the needs and concerns of retailers, developers, investors, architects and builders, we also see how the industry is affected by — and influences — the economy and society. For example, this month's cover story dissects a long-range economic and demographic trend that has profound implications for the industry and the nation: the shrinking, financially-challenged middle class. This trend has been developing for decades, but is now on the radar screens of industry experts. I urge you to turn to page 80 to learn about what's happening to retail real estate's best customers and what the industry can do to cope.

Finally, I congratulate this year's SADI Award winners (the SADI section begins on page S1). Our annual design contest elicited a record number of entries this year, and the panel of judges had quite a workout. Winners hail from the U.S., Canada, Korea and Japan. Beautiful stuff.

Most of all I thank our 37,000 subscriberss who honor us by reading our monthly magazine and our weekly e-letter; visit our Web site, retailtrafficmag.com.

Best regards,

Warren N. Bimblick
Publisher
Retail Traffic Magazine