In the retail landscape, there is an ongoing shakeup and restructuring of shopping centers and malls heading into 2016. Steven Lowly, co-CEO of Westfield, believes that bringing the physical and digital retail worlds is crucial to create a “dynamic retail environment.” Technology has definitely changed the retail landscape and has created new opportunities through omni-channel marketing by converging digital and physical shopping to enhance the consumer experience.
When commenting on the changing retail landscape, Lowy said, “Today, the relationship between retailers and real estate developers is designed to open stores and the relationship has essentially ended there. I believe this needs to be turned on its head.”
Digital technology has brought about a collective insight into shoppers' browsing habits, geo-location and online activity. Westfield has spent a lot on developing a digital team at their Westfield Labs in San Francisco which was created three years ago. They have product development, design, data, analytics and digital infrastructure teams.
One of Westfield's significant investments in the digital experience is a smart global network that links all Westfield's iconic centers and allow retailers to seamlessly gather data from their shared customers across multiple access points.
It seems like Lowy's intention is to further supplement and enhance the experience at physical retail spaces and improve upon things where physical commerce falls short. Digital engagement can create the buzz and interest in attracting customers and adding value to the customer.
About Westfield Corporation: it is an internally managed, vertically integrated shopping center firm which undertakes ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, leasing, property management, and marketing. They have a staff of 2,000 worldwide and they have an interest in 34 shopping centers in the U.S. and U.K., which constitutes approximately 6,499 retail outlets.