TENANT UPDATE

Cobb Theatres to open at Daytona complex in December

BY Al Urbanski

Cobb Daytona Luxury 12 Theatres will be the first property to start its engines at the mixed-use project rising up across the street from Daytona International Speedway in Florida.

The 56,000-sq.-ft. Cineplex is a luxury play with electric reclining seats, a full-service bar, and the Cobbster’s Kitchen restaurant. It will be joined next year at the One Daytona complex by a 67,000-sq.-ft. Bass Pro Shop Outpost, a Marriott Autograph Collection hotel, 250 residential units, and another 200,000 sq. ft. of retail.

“We will be positioned in the best location in the area, and we look forward to serving the Daytona Beach residents and the millions of tourists that visit each year,” said Cobb Theatres COO Fran Stryjewski.

One Daytona is a development of the International Speedway Corporation, which owns the Daytona track and 12 other speedways, and whose international headquarters is situated on the property.


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TECHNOLOGY

Walmart’s holiday ‘service’ strategy: In-store pickups, low prices, ‘holiday helpers’

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Knowing frazzled customers are in search of overall value, Walmart is emphasizing customer service this holiday season.

A chain synonymous with the concept of “everyday low prices,” Walmart is taking a new stance this holiday as a means of competing with rivals Target and Amazon, which are focusing on lower prices. While it is not abandoning its signature “Rollbacks” entirely, the discount giant is eager to attract the omnichannel shopper. That said, Walmart is raising the bar by having the broadest assortment of merchandise available at the best price, and focusing on quickly getting it into shoppers’ hands, whether they order online or visit a physical store.

The retail behemoth’s first move was to dramatically expand its online catalog. Knowing that the volume of items ordered online and picked up in stores on the same day increases by five times during the holiday season, Walmart will expand the amount of items available across categories, including apparel, toys and seasonal decor. And the increases will continue to ramp up all season long.

Walmart’s online assortment has already jumped from roughly 8 million items at the start of this year to 20 million today, and “millions of additional items are scheduled to be added in the coming months,” according to a company statement.

The retailer is also making its broader assortment easier to shop. Starting Nov. 1, Walmart.com will feature a Top 20 list of items to help customers discover exclusive offerings, competitive prices and coveted products. This service supports Walmart’s holiday marketing strategy, which will focus more on discounts and offering the lowest prices on items instead of "gimmicky" product deals — a move that responds to their customers’ expectations of more consistent pricing. This is the second year Walmart is using this holiday marketing strategy.

Where Walmart draws the line, however, is on free shipping for online orders. Unlike competitors likeTargetthat are waiving shipping fees for the season, Walmart will still require shoppers to make a minimum online order of $50 to avoid shipping charges, the statement said.

In hopes of providing a little more cheer during store visits, Walmart is also introducing an army of Holiday Helpers to better serve customers in the checkout line. Armed with candy canes, these helpers will assist customers with finding the shortest line, direct shoppers to open registers, and quickly grab items customers might have forgotten, the statement said.

“We are listening to our customers and looking for ways to simplify their busy lives,” said Judith McKenna, COO, Walmart U.S.

Depending on store traffic, Walmart will increase the amount of helpers on hand. The easy-to-find, yellow-vested team will arrive at stores on Nov. 4.

In addition, the chain will feature 150,000 product demonstrations across its more than 4,600 U.S. stores, and Santa also plans to make 23,000 visits chainwide throughout the season, the statement said.

“Whether our customers are checking items off their grocery lists or their kids’ holiday lists, we want to make their shopping experiences easy and fun,” McKenna added. “This includes having clean, fast and friendly stores, an easier check out experience and enabling customers to shop seamlessly through services like ‘pick-up.’”

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REAL ESTATE

Report: Amazon to open 20 grocery stores over the next two years

BY Marianne Wilson

The nation’s largest online retailer has big plans for brick-and-mortar expansion.

Amazon is planning to operate a 20-location pilot for its grocery store concept by the end of 2018, in such locations as Seattle, Las Vegas, New York, Miami, and the Bay Area, reported Business Insider.What’s more, the retailer believes the market has room for as many as 2,000 of its Amazon Fresh-branded stores over the next decade.

According to the report, Amazon will experiment with different versions of stores during the pilot program. Ten of the locations will be "click-and-collect" drive-up spots for Amazon customers to pick up their online orders. The other 10 will be more traditional stores, where shoppers can stroll the aisles with carts.

The Business Insider report is based on internal Amazon documents, which refer to a proposed launch schedule of 200 stores a year, with the stores supported by a new generation of distribution centers.

To read the full story, click here.

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