Time = Currency as Wal-Mart Moves to Fend off Amazon Threat
Wal-Mart is using its assets – physical stores in the real world – to emphasize the benefits such a presence can have for consumers. Ask anyone who’s purchased things online, you might hear “returns” as a pet peeve. Wal-Mart is working to make the process of returning and shopping easier by using its massive real-world retail presence with its growing online presence. According to a recent Reuters report, “Wal-Mart’s Mobile Express Returns, starting in early November, customers can, for the first time, use the retailer’s app to initiate a return. The process can then be completed at “express” lanes in a store by scanning a QR code and handing over the item, eliminating the need to wait in queues.” The new process cuts the wait time up to 90%, according to Daniel Eckert, head of Wal-Mart’s U.S. services and digital acceleration business. “We recognize that time has increasingly become the new currency in retail as much as saving money,” Eckert told TheStreet.com, adding that “busy families” are a key market for the company.
What Some of Your Favorite Retailers Are Doing for Thanksgiving
It’s that time of year, when holiday decorations start to take over our malls and shopping centers. New to the debate now is which retailers are going to be open extra hours for Black Friday, or how early they’re going to open on Thanksgiving itself, or whether they’ll be open for the holiday at all. Different retails have decided to approach the holiday differently. CBL Properties announced that for the second year in a row, 62 of the company’s retail properties will shut down for the holiday. Some individual retailers have opted to close Thanksgiving Day, including Costco, Home Depot and Petco. “We know that the holidays are a special time for creating memories with loved ones and at Staples we want to ensure that on Thanksgiving Day our customers and associates are able to do so,” Staples CEO Steve Matyas told Chain Store Age. And while some retailers and malls grapple with whether to open or close on Thanksgiving, Forbes is questioning the benefit of Black Friday itself. 35% of shoppers who plan to shop during Thanksgiving week will do so on Black Friday, down from 51% last year and 59% in 2015, according to research from PwC. “Black Friday has lost its significance,” Steven Barr, consumer markets leader for PwC and Forbes contributor. What do you think? Tell us via Twitter or on our “Contact” page..
Mall of America and Minneapolis Embrace Shifting Retail Trends
An organic supermarket replaces a department store. A restaurant/entertainment destination moves in where a clothing retailer once stood. Activities that can only be enjoyed in the real world (big screen 3D movies, bowling, rock-climbing, or indoor go-karts), replace retailers that can make, what they think, could be a better go of it online. It’s a trend that is picking up, particularly in the city that’s home to the largest mall in the country. “We are beginning to see development and redevelopment of small to mid-size multi-tenant retail centers. With the continued absorption of existing large blocks of retail space in secondary markets, we expect to see the new development of big-box retail in secondary and tertiary markets within the next several years,” wrote Lucas Gaughan, Vice President of Commercial Accounts, Gaughan Companies, in Heartland Real Estate Business magazine. Offices are looking to set up in traditionally retail environments, perhaps excited by all the growth in the retail entertainment segment. “Over the past few years, the Mall of America has made an intriguing shift away from a tenant roster of traditional storefronts to a widespread mixture of entertainment and food users.”
DMM Publisher Takes Part in Pitney Bowes Conference
Tama J. Shor, the publisher of the Directory of Major Malls and ShoppingCenters.com, is co-presenting at a Pitney Bowes Business Summit. The session Tama’s participating in is called “Shopping Centers: An Industry in Transition” and will be joined by Gary Faitler, Senior Manager, Client Services, Pitney Bowes. “Indeed there are dramatic changes occurring in the retail industry, but it’s not a ‘retail apocalypse.’ There’s an active transformation happening which, along with some bad, will result in positive economic retail activity,” Tama says. If you can’t catch the event live, a summary of the event will be published on our site later this month. Stay tuned!