As tens of thousands of retail real estate industry members head to Las Vegas for ICSC’s annual RECon event, I find myself reflecting on the evolution of the industry and the fundamental changes that will affect the shopping center business over the next five years.
Cost versus customer experience: As retailers compete on customer experience throughout the omni-channel supply chain process, the type of real estate and where it is located is playing a major role. In fact, according to JLL research, seven out of 10 retailers are still shaping their omnichannel product offering and customer service commitments.
From international brands dropping anchor on U.S. shores and online players expanding in the physical space to familiar names with new formats and traditional start-ups, there is no lack of new concepts in the brick-and-mortar arena. Here’s a look at some with the biggest buzz.
Front-end omnichannel success relies on back-end fulfillmentThe front-end promise of omnichannel retail cannot be delivered without investment in back-end technology and processes that allow fulfillment of orders across multiple channels. Retailers must eliminate internal silos and obtain real-time awareness of their full inventory.Omnichannel fulfillment is a difficult, but not impossible, task.
A majority of consumers are spending savings from lower fuel prices to buy groceries. According to the new “Why? Behind the Buy” report from Acosta Sales & Marketing, 72% of shoppers age 18-34 will spend fuel savings on groceries.
For Ascena Retail Group, managing a portfolio of disparate brands that includes DressBarn, Maurices, Lane Bryant, Justice and Catherines is a complex undertaking. One area where Ascena needs to streamline operations for maximum efficiency is product lifecycle management (PLM).
U.K. toy retailer Hamleys has opened Europe’s largest toy store, a 73,000-sq.-ft. location close to the Kremlin in Moscow. Designed by Fitch, the two-level space is heavy on interaction and is divided into nine themed areas that combine retail and entertainment.
The onset of 2015 marked a huge change in shipping costs, and as a result retailers are struggling to find ways to maintain their bottom lines. As of Jan. 1, packages are now being evaluated by their “dimensional weight,” or volume, instead of determining price by weight alone. Experts say that the when combined with other annual rate hikes and surcharges, the resulting average rate increases will be as high as 30% or more.
You’ve undoubtedly heard about the Internet of Things (IoT) and you might think that it’s all about wearables and energy savings. You might conclude that it doesn’t have much to do with your retail business.
The era of the “push” supply chain, where retailers do their best to determine consumer demand well ahead of time and offer a select assortment, is ending. E-commerce platforms that offer a nearly limitless supply of inventory, along with a high degree of digital customization, have changed consumer expectations across all channels.
The store is back, baby! That was the message I heard again and again at the National Retail Federation’s 2015 Annual Convention in New York City. It was sounded by retailers, consultants and tech suppliers alike as they rushed to explain the relevance of offline retail in an omnichannel world.
Online shoppers around the world want the ability to search and shop on multiple channels and devices, expect to see alternate delivery and payment options, and when it comes to shipping and returns, “free” is a driving factor to complete the sale.