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The Official ICSC Blog

February 25, 2014

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Industry Snapshot – February 25

Infographic_Mobile
The ICSC Industry Snapshot is a bi-weekly report presented as an info-graphic; produced by ICSC’s Communications department. This dashboard presents an overview of key industry metrics in an easy to follow and visually pleasing format, so that the user can quickly navigate it and take away a high-level view of industry performance. Furthermore, the dashboard is presented in a mobile format so that the user can easily access it on their smartphone or tablet. Each installment of the snapshot features; U.S Shopping Center sales, Weekly U.S. Chain Store Sales, Shopping Center NOI by Area, the latest ICSC Shopping Center Executive Survey, CMBS Delinquency Rates, U.S. Chain-Store Sales by Segment, U.S. Shopping Center NOI by Type, U.S. Shopping Center Jobs, and other Shopping Center Facts.

February 24, 2014

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It’s the Real Thing

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By: Sarah Ritchie

As part of New York’s Social Media Week, ICSC was delighted to host a gathering featuring Scott Ryan and Keith Berman from the Coca-Cola Company, who presented on “Customer Engagement in the SoLoMo Revolution.” 

The pair provided a sweeping review of advertising strategies during the Coca-Cola’s 127-year history.  With products in 207 countries (indeed, more countries than are represented in the United Nation), the multi-billion dollar company recognizes that they are largely selling “one drink at a time,” with the focus on selling an “experience” of drinking one of America’s favorite beverages.

Mobilizing Social/Local/Mobile (SoLoMo) strategies, Coca-Cola aims to tug at the heartstrings of consumers reminding them of the memorable occasions that they have enjoyed Coke—be it a family gathering, holiday celebration, or sporting event.  Likewise, the company takes great efforts to connect Coca-Cola consumers, through social media and thought-provoking campaigns.  In short, their mission is to “Bring People Together.”  The leaders at Coke recognize that “Marketers don’t control the Brand—consumers do.”

Ryan and Berman provided analysis of some of their most innovative campaigns, of late.   Recently, of course, the company stimulated a great discussion about American culture through their now-famous television ad during the Super Bowl game.   Millions watched the touching rendition of “America the Beautiful” sung by a bevy of young girls from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds—Native American, European, African-American, Latina, Asian, and Middle Eastern.  Their goal? To remind viewers that America is a tapestry of immigrants (save the Native Americans), from all parts of the globe.  To some, the commercial was controversial; to most, it was emotional and sentimental.  But one thing is clear:  the advertisement spawn analysis and commentary among traditional news outlets and throughout the world of social media.

The duo outlined another inspired campaign, harkening back to their admired campaign of the 1970’s (known in the business as the “hill top” ad—with dozens of young singers reciting the lyrics, “I’d like to buy the world a coke….”).  Through a brilliant partnership with Google, “regular people” are invited to use their smart phones to “pay it forward,” buying a coke for a random person in some particular part of the world.  The recipient is pleasantly surprised with a complimentary beverage and good wish from the gift-giver, to which they may respond with a personal greeting.  These random acts of kindness are unusually powerful, given the small monetary investment of a can or bottle of coke.  This strategy clearly embodied the words of the “hill top ad” about buying a coke for the world.

In an even more ambitious project, they used the age-old soda to draw together consumers from India and Pakistan, countries experiencing significant political tension since their post-World War II division.  My words don’t do justice to the beautiful images of folks connecting one-on-one with individuals in the other country.  Coke is literally bringing people together—directly.

As we closed the meeting, I pondered the great sweep of advertising and social media campaigns that I’ve taken in as an “average” consumer.  Quite honestly I could not think of any examples of advertising that stepped aside in the promotional process, facilitating one human being connecting with another to enjoy a popular project.  For someone, like myself, unduly influenced by the cynical portrayal of the advertising world in the TV show Mad Men, I was truly uplifted and energized by these superb efforts.  Had I not already been a huge fan of Coke before the meeting, I would have immediately headed to a vending machine to experience it for myself.

February 24, 2014

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Q&A With RECon Latin America Speaker Matthew Oster

Matthew Oster
How long have you been involved with the shopping center industry?

For the past three years, I have managed the research for Euromonitor International’s retailing coverage for a number of countries in Latin America, first for Central America, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador, and then for Colombia and Venezuela. It has been remarkable to see the dynamism of this industry throughout the region and to witness each country’s unique path to develop and modernize their retailing sectors.

What does participating in RECon Latin America 2014 mean to you?

I’m honored to be able to share my thoughts about retailing in emerging markets at this year’s RECon conference. RECon represents a unique opportunity to share Euromonitor’s global findings about the state of the retail industry and where it can go from here, but also to learn from the many interesting presenters and attendees as well. I look forward to many spirited conversations about the direction of the industry during my stay in Cartagena.

How do you picture the industry 5 years from now?

Across the board, from more developed economies to emerging markets, the retail sector will show marked changes in the next 5 years, due to macroeconomic, demographic and technological factors. In developed markets, constant improvements in mobile technology and data gathering will focus the trend towards micro-targeting and will allow for a blending of traditional retail with internet and mobile applications, to attract consumers wherever they may be. Conversely, the fall of modern superstores will continue as consumers further move to the internet or to smaller, urban locales that better fit their sensibilities.

The retail sector in emerging markets will develop even more quickly, as the pace of technological improvement will allow many countries to skip steps. Every country’s response will be different, but without a doubt, emerging markets will see an expansion of consumer credit programs, mobile retail applications and internet sales over the next 5 years.

Please tell me a Little about the session you will be hosting at RECon Latin America 2014..

Now, over 5 years after the global financial crisis, is a critical time for retail in emerging markets. Multinational and regional companies are pursuing every opportunity to expand their footprint in these fast-growing economies, and the competition for consumers’ hearts and minds will be fierce. But how will retailing look in the emerging economies? Will it develop similar to developed countries, with a natural progression from store-based retailing to internet and mobile-based functionality? Or will global economies of scale allow for emerging economies to catch up more quickly, especially as Europe and the United States continue to plod along? As usual, the answer is somewhere in the middle, as consumers the world over are increasingly demanding retail with more options, smarter services, and cheaper prices.

February 21, 2014

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Help The ICSC Foundation Reach It’s Goal!


2013 marked the ICSC Foundation’s 25th anniversary. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to embark upon our first capital campaign to grow the endowment and programs. Last May at RECon, a $5M campaign over three years was launched. We ended 2013 collecting $2.3M in payments and pledges. With things going so well the timeline was shortened to try to raise the entire $5M by the end of 2014. Beginning in 2014 you will begin to see the new programs this money is funding. Our first fundraising campaign has been a huge success so far and we thank each of you who has helped us along the way.

February 20, 2014

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Don’t count department stores out, GGP chief says


Write no obituaries for JCPenney or Sears just yet, General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani advised his listeners at an SCTLive forum in New York City last Friday. “People forget, Americans still shop at Sears,” he said. Indeed, at $40 billion in 2012, Sears’ sales dwarf those of many prominent retailers, he noted, including Macy’s ($28 billion), Penney ($13 billion), Dillard’s ($6.8 billion) and Belk ($4 billion). Sears is in the vanguard of retailers developing an online model, drawing on its own experience as a catalog retailer, Mathrani said. He also cautioned against underestimating the capabilities of Sears Chairman and CEO Edward S. Lampert. Penney, too, will remain on the retail landscape, Mathrani predicts. “They could have more finance issues, but we think Penney will still be part of the retail fabric,” he said.

Nor has the vacating of the big-box spaces of Penney, Sears and others posed a problem for General Growth, Mathrani noted. Of the 76 empty boxes the firm had across its portfolio in 2011, only two remain vacant today, he said.Write no obituaries for JCPenney or Sears just yet, General Growth Properties CEO Sandeep Mathrani advised his listeners at an SCTLive forum in New York City last Friday. “People forget, Americans still shop at Sears,” he said. Indeed, at $40 billion in 2012, Sears’ sales dwarf those of many prominent retailers, he noted, including Macy’s ($28 billion), Penney ($13 billion), Dillard’s ($6.8 billion) and Belk ($4 billion). Sears is in the vanguard of retailers developing an online model, drawing on its own experience as a catalog retailer, Mathrani said. He also cautioned against underestimating the capabilities of Sears Chairman and CEO Edward S. Lampert. Penney, too, will remain on the retail landscape, Mathrani predicts. “They could have more finance issues, but we think Penney will still be part of the retail fabric,” he said.

Mathrani questioned the threat from online sales, asserting that Internet retail is a greater challenge to catalog retailers than to brick-and-mortar stores. Malls and stores have a vital role to play in the Internet retail revolution, Mathrani said, pointing to the large proportion of shoppers that embrace omni-channel retail by opting to pick up online purchases at stores. Moreover, he said, online retailers seem to be discovering that they need to open conventional stores to survive; General Growth has staff people scouring the web for promising online retail candidates for mall stores.

February 14, 2014

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Congrats To Our Two New Community Service Award Winners!

The ICSC Foundation is proud to honor two more shopping center developers with Community Service Awards. The ICSC Foundation awards shopping centers from around the globe for their charitable efforts with the Community Support Awards.
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In the Asia Pacific, the Link Management Limited, based out of Kowloon, Hong Kong, won for their “The Link Community Sports Academy” campaign that promoted and raised awareness of the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle. The Link established the sports academies, with the aim of fostering a sense of teamwork, community, health and social inclusion throughout each community that a Link shopping center is located in. The sports academy provided free sports training to more than 1,500 participants, including those with disabilities. In addition to the award, the ICSC Foundation will contribute $5,000 USD to the Hong Kong Blind Sports Federation which will use the contribution to sponsor their blind soccer team.
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In the Middle East & North Africa, Arabian Centres, in Saudi Arabia, won for their “Fighting Breast Cancer” campaign. Through their partnership with the Zahra Breast Cancer Association, Arabian Centres set up diagnosis booths at each of their malls, giving women throughout Saudi Arabia access to early detection testing, free of charge. The centres also launched a pink-themed campaign to raise awareness and provide crucial information that can help save lives. In addition to the award, the ICSC Foundation will contribute $5,000 USD to the Zahra Breast Cancer Association.

Two regional competitions’ deadlines are approaching. In Europe, the deadline is March is 7th and the award ceremony is at the SOLAL Awards in Amsterdam. United States competition runs until March 17th and the winner will be announced at RECon.

Apply your chance to be recognized and win these prestigious awards!

February 11, 2014

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Industry Infographic – February 11

Infographic_Mobile
The ICSC Industry Snapshot is a bi-weekly report presented as an info-graphic; produced by ICSC’s Communications department. This dashboard presents an overview of key industry metrics in an easy to follow and visually pleasing format, so that the user can quickly navigate it and take away a high-level view of industry performance. Furthermore, the dashboard is presented in a mobile format so that the user can easily access it on their smartphone or tablet. Each installment of the snapshot features; U.S Shopping Center sales, Weekly U.S. Chain Store Sales, Shopping Center NOI by Area, the latest ICSC Shopping Center Executive Survey, CMBS Delinquency Rates, U.S. Chain-Store Sales by Segment, U.S. Shopping Center NOI by Type, U.S. Shopping Center Jobs, and other Shopping Center Facts.

February 10, 2014

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Pop Up Shop uses Twitter/Instagram as Currency

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BY: Sarah Ritchie,

A few years ago “Bit Coin” made a splash in the online shopping world.  BitCoin represented a unique way to purchase online items—through a newly devised currency that had nothing to do with greenbacks.  A variation on this theme can be found at the new Marc Jacobs Daisy pop-up store in the SoHo neighborhood of New York; for, tweeting and other social media postings are the currency o trade.

The store was open for only three days, to coincide with the famed NYC fashion week.  The pop-up store capitalized on the vast social media community that Jacobs had already built.  Here’s how it works: customers use their Twitter and Instagram accounts to promote the pop-up shop.  And, In exchange for posts with the #MJDaisyChain hashtag, customers are rewarded with free perfume samples.   Consumers sharing particularly clever messages were eligible for handbag giveaways—worth many hundreds of dollars.

Enthusiastically embracing the power of social media, Jacobs knew that his Daisy fragrance routinely generated the most customer engagement, compared to other products in his lines.  By piggy-backing on the existing social networks of his customers, he was able to create palpable “buzz” about the merchandise giveaway and multiply exponentially the number of people learning about the store.  Moreover, by creating a pop-up store that was open for such a brief period, he created a scarce, time-limited opportunity that swept people into the store.

Retailers are now on their way to understanding and mobilizing social media tools aimed at drawing customers to their stores and driving up sales.  No doubt, many retail leaders will be looking to this innovative strategy created by Marc Jacobs as a possible lesson in viral marketing—one that they might wish to employ.

January 28, 2014

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ICSC Industry Infographic – January 28

Infographic_Mobile
The ICSC Industry Snapshot is a bi-weekly report presented as an info-graphic; produced by ICSC’s Communications department. This dashboard presents an overview of key industry metrics in an easy to follow and visually pleasing format, so that the user can quickly navigate it and take away a high-level view of industry performance. Furthermore, the dashboard is presented in a mobile format so that the user can easily access it on their smartphone or tablet. Each installment of the snapshot features; U.S Shopping Center sales, Weekly U.S. Chain Store Sales, Shopping Center NOI by Area, the latest ICSC Shopping Center Executive Survey, CMBS Delinquency Rates, U.S. Chain-Store Sales by Segment, U.S. Shopping Center NOI by Type, U.S. Shopping Center Jobs, and other Shopping Center Facts.