Staying Ahead Of The Trends: Survival Of The Fittest

By Tama Shor, Publisher of the Directory of Major Malls

The Internet has completely changed the way we communicate, the way people do business, and the way the public is informed, while compelling businesses to listen to the demands of the consumer. “Survival of the fittest” is a phrase that has far-reaching implications for most industries. Those that adapt and change their business models and marketing practices in line with changing trends and the effects of the Internet are those that by natural selection will survive. Those that don’t will die off. 

The Changing Retail Real Estate Landscape

We now live in a consumer-driven business world where instant and easy access to information is not only what consumers want but what they expect. The increased volume of e-commerce sites is a perfect example of how consumer-driven our society has become. A consumer-driven e-Commerce model poses a potential threat to brick-and-mortar shopping centers, but it is possible to mitigate the potential losses to physical stores by modifying marketing and business models to accommodate the effects of these technological changes.

Francois Ortalo-Magn, Director of Wisconsin School of Business Global Real Estate, cites an example of a brand that is revising its business policies in light of the increased e-commerce site usage. He says:  ‘There are those companies like SFR who are radically re-educating their store staff so that they have the same level of product knowledge as the clients who come to the shop having surfed the web to find about products. There are those companies who see their flagship stores as communication tools. And there are those companies who haven’t yet decided what to do,’ he added. (http://www.propertyeu.info/index-newsletter/retail-sector-split-on-impact-of-e-commerce/)

In addition to the trends leading to more e-commerce sites, the recession has also caused a shift in the retail real estate landscape.  What Does This Mean For The Retail Real Estate Market?  Because business today is information-driven, it is important to be able to acquire, access, and manage data in order to make timely decisions, take advantage of opportunities and/or avert disasters.

How and Why Vertical Markets Need to Stay Informed

In order for the vertical markets within the retail real estate market to stay in the game, they will need to have as much current and accurate data at their disposal to be able to make the wisest business decisions.  Retail chains and up and coming retailers need data that can help them locate and analyze new locations, review existing markets, and hone in on their competition. Specialty and seasonal retailers will benefit greatly from having the necessary data to help them identify major centers with seasonal and temporary leasing programs.

Owners/developers and management companies who build and manage shopping centers and malls need tools to help them analyze the tenant mix of other centers in their area, other locations of stores, and to track what companies oversee other major retail locations.

Financial institutions and investment companies managing stocks owning shopping centers need to react quickly to changes in the industry such as store chain closings and openings, the sale of portfolios of shopping centers and malls, new developments as well as properties affected by natural disasters and regional economic shifts. These investment portfolios are affected on a daily basis by the afore-mentioned activities making it all the more important for the financial and investment companies to have access to the most current and reliable data.

Some examples are: When a major department store chain files bankruptcy or a retailer decides to close all the locations of one of their chains, which centers are affected? Who owns these properties? How much of their property portfolio is affected by closings? What effect will that have on the overall stock value for both the landlord and the retail chain?

Suppliers and service companies who are involved in businesses like the sale of security uniforms, recycling services, energy management, stroller rentals, and gift card programs need to be able to identify and contact new prospects and sales leads at the individual centers, and evaluate the size of a company-based upon the number of listings they oversee.

Marketing and promotional companies who help businesses through publicity campaigns and advertising need a resource for marketing analysis and marketing contacts.

Architectural and design firms of the malls or stores who want to promote their services need to have information about other properties and retail locations.

Construction companies involved in the building and renovation of shopping centers/malls, stores, and parking lots, need to know about proposed centers and those under development as well as those planning a renovation or expansion.

What happens to those companies that are not paying attention to their industry’s changing trends? They will eventually lose out to their competitors who ARE utilizing marketing tools and current, relevant data to make better informed business decisions.

Staying true to our brand promise of maintaining the most comprehensive reference of major shopping centers and malls available anywhere in order to provide you with the most current details possible, we are pleased to announce the release of the 2011, 32nd edition of the Directory of Major Malls. With over 7,000 detailed shopping center listings and 295,000 store locations, you will have access to the most accurate shopping center data available in order to find the locations you need and make the contacts you want. Pre-order your 2011 Print and CD versions for January.

Access 2011 data online today! The Directory’s on-line access site is located at https://shoppingcenters.com. This interactive web site is efficient, easy-to-use, and updated monthly. A subscription to the site allows you to search and view our data (including live links to web addresses and emails) and view and print our site/leasing plans and metro area maps.

Customized reports, mailing lists and VIP contact files are available for downloading for an additional fee for both subscribers and guest accounts. Log on to https://shoppingcenters.com to create a Guest account and run a FREE query today.

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