REAL ESTATE

Colliers: Shopping centers national vacancy rate down in Q1

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — The national vacancy rate for shopping centers dropped slightly from 10.09% to 10.06% in the first quarter of 2013, according to a study by global real estate services company Colliers International. In addition, shopping centers absorbed nearly 4.5 million sq. ft. in the first quarter.

The report, Colliers International’s 2013 Q1 North American Retail Highlights report, finds that with the housing and job markets on the road to recovery, retailers are seeing increased consumer confidence and spending across North America. In fact, the six markets with the most shopping center leasing activity are also cities where long-term growth in employment and housing have taken hold.

“Although the economy is improving, retailers are still focusing on value," said Mark Keschl, national director of retail services for Colliers International and contributor to the report. "Today, value does not necessarily mean the cheapest price. The consumer is looking for quality, brand and price transparency in a dynamic shopping environment. Shoppers also want the ability to purchase the product in the manner that best suits their lifestyle, whether it is in a brick-and-mortar location or online."

Other highlights from the report:

Canada and Mexico are seeing the most retail growth. Canada added 8 million sq. ft. of shopping center space last year and more than 10 million additional square feet are in development for 2013, including outlet malls, enclosed malls and mixed-use developments. The growth is bolstered in part by American retailers tapping into the robust Canadian market.

Mexico is also experiencing a surge in the retail market, with more than 1.5 million sq. ft. of new shopping center space developed this past year.

Restaurants position for tomorrow’s consumer. With restaurant sales forecast to grow nearly 4% in 2013, chains are relying heavily on franchisees to support expansion. In addition, casual restaurants like Applebee’s, Red Robin and Famous Dave’s are testing the fast-casual segment to strike a balance between quality and value, though the market could quickly become overcrowded.

A complete PDF version of the eight-page report is available at Colliers.com/us/retail-Q1.

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REAL ESTATE

West Elm to open in King of Prussia, Pa.

BY Staff Writer

Brooklyn, N.Y. — Home furnishing retailer West Elm, owned by Williams-Sonoma, will open a store in King of Prussia, Pa., on May 16.

The 8,406.-sq.-ft. store will be the second West Elm store in Pennsylvania, following the Philadelphia store.

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News

BJ’s Wholesale launches Micros’ new loss prevention exception reporting solution

BY Marianne Wilson

Westboro, Mass. — MICROS-Retail, a division of Micros Systems, announced BJ’s Wholesale’s successful launch of Micros-Retail’s next generation loss prevention and business analytics solution, XBR Ingenium.

As an existing user of MICROS-Retail’s XBR, BJ’s launched a pilot of XBR Ingenium. \After a successful program, BJ’s is now deploying Micros-Retail XBR Ingenium company-wide, seeking to increase the investigative capabilities and productivity of its asset protection team.

MICROS-Retail XBR Ingenium provides more flexible and behavioral exception reports, allowing organizations to focus on the key areas of fraudulent activity. With an interactive dashboard, field users can quickly spot high-risk areas in their stores and districts.

Additionally, MICROS-Retail XBR Ingenium is highly intuitive and easy to use, allowing all users to quickly learn the solution and identify fraudulent activity. This allows BJ’s asset protection team to be more proactive and efficient in identifying, tracking and resolving issues.

"Through the assistance of the MICROS team, we have implemented a tool that is analyst, end-user and administrator friendly. I am confident this will drive higher case identification and provide a strong ROI in short order," stated Charles Delgado, VP of asset protection at BJ’s Wholesale.

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