Charleston to Get “Online Sales-Resistant” Shopping Center in 2019
The Charleston region is getting its first new shopping center in several years, and it’s being billed as “online sales-resistant.” Nexton Square is being developed by RealtyLink Commercial LLC of North Charleston. As reported by the Charleston Post & Courier, it’s a 140,000-square-foot shopping center, and its offerings will primarily be service-oriented. “It’s a lot of things you can’t buy online. It’s online-sales-resistant retailers,” said Charles Fitzhenry, leasing director for RealtyLink. “We are trying to create a center that will offer an experience. It’s really kind of interactive.” The developers broke ground on the $40 million project last month. It is scheduled to open in early 2019.
Mall Bundles Fitness, Health & Beauty Shops in “Self-care Precinct”
Most malls have food courts, as the convenience of having many of an establishment’s eateries in one large spot gives customers greater choice in the same location. So why not do that for other segments? A recent feature on the International Council of Shopping Centers’ website focused on the Yorktown Center in Chicago, where they’ve created a “self-care precinct” in which fitness, health and beauty tenants are all in the same area. “Self-care is one of the fastest-growing segments in consumer spending today and is continuing to rise with the increasing popularity of boutique fitness and membership-model health and beauty businesses,” said Gary Karl, COO of Pacific Retail Capital Partners.
The Technology Behind Amazon’s Cashier-less Seattle Store
Even Amazon admits in-store retail has its place in the world. True, their Amazon Go store in Seattle, which opened to the public last month, has no cashiers or people in the store, it is a place where people need to walk in, take things off shelves, and pay for them (done automatically via mobile technologies – “No line, no checkout—just grab and go!”). TechCrunch writer Devin Coldewey wanted to see if the lack of people would be Amazon’s Achilles’ heel. “My intention going in was to try to shoplift something and catch these complacent Amazon types napping. But it became clear when I went in that this wasn’t going to be an option.” A combination of weight sensors, cameras, computers, but not facial recognition software, helps monitor what is being taken from the shelves, and each purchase is tracked and charged via a mobile app. While Coldeway was impressed with the shop, he notes, “It’s a bit overkill, I think, to replace a checker or self-checkout stand with a hundred cameras that unblinkingly record every tiny movement. What’s to gain? 20 or 30 seconds of your time back? Lack of convenience has hardly been a complaint for this market — it’s right there in the name: ‘convenience store.’”
Mall of America Front-and-Center in Run-up to Big Football Game
During the two weeks before the big championship football game (you know the one) the big star wasn’t the QB or the crafty coach. It was the local mall. The game was played in Minnesota, and almost everything went down at Mall of America. “‘Love From Minnesota’” is directly across from a sister store called ‘I Heart Minnesota,’ because when you’ve got a shopping center this big nobody seems overly concerned about duplication. A sign on a small display shelf reads ‘Wisconsin Items — 75 percent off!’ Midwest humor, everyone.”
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