Cypress Equities acquires Minnesota retail center
Dallas — Cypress Equities has acquired Eden Prairie Center in Eden Prairie, Minn., an upscale suburb of Minneapolis. The transaction was carried out by a fund managed by Cypress’ real estate investment management group. Eden Prairie Center is a 1.1-million-sq.-ft., two-level, enclosed shopping center. The mall features more than 100 shops and restaurants. Annual shopper visits exceed 12 million.
Von Maur, Target, Kohl’s, Sears and J.C. Penney anchor the mall. The entertainment wing features an 18-screen AMC Theatres, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Wildfire Steaks, Chops & Seafood, Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano, Panera Bread and Prairie Tap House.
Eden Prairie ranked third on Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live” in 2012 and was first on the list in 2010. The average household income within three miles of Eden Prairie Center is substantially higher than that of the Minneapolis metro average and the United States average.
Miracle Mile Shops welcomes four new tenants
Las Vegas — Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is ushering in four new dining and retail destinations spanning 9,192 sq. ft.
Two new restaurants, Meatball Spot and Ketchup Premium Burger Bar will soon boost the restaurant count 17.
Tervis, the insulated tumbler retailer, will open at Miracle Mile Shops in December. Slated to open in February 2014, Shoe Palace will add its selection of footwear, apparel and accessories to the center.
The Retail IT Game Keeps Changing
I have now been in my role as senior editor of Chain Store Age, specializing in retail IT coverage, for six months. Beyond being surprised at how quickly the past 180 days have gone by and grateful at how welcoming the industry has been to me, I also can’t help but be amazed at how much retail IT has changed since I was last actively involved in covering this field in 2006.
I previously spent eight years covering retail IT for a now-defunct publishing/trade show company, from 1998-2006. While there was a lot of change during those years, the rate and scope of technology evolution was not even close to what has happened in the intervening seven years I was off covering other business and IT verticals. Sometimes you need to step back for a while to truly appreciate how much a landscape has changed. So without further ado, here is my take on three retail IT game changers that have occurred since the mid-2000s.
Multichannel becomes Omni-channel
In the mid-2000s, retailers were pursuing a “multi-channel” or “cross-channel” IT strategy that aimed to link data on customer purchases, preferences and behaviors across all physical and digital channels. That has evolved to today’s more sophisticated “omni-channel” IT strategy.
Omni-channel has the same ultimate goal of improving the customer shopping experience, but instead of simply linking data across channels actually links experience across channels, so that a customer does not have to relearn new shopping methods or navigation and checkout procedures when moving from a PC site to a mobile site to a physical store.
Omni-channel retailing also usually means data and experience is linked in real-time, so that if a customer scans the barcode of an in-store item with their smartphone they can immediately locate it on the retailer’s mobile site, for example. This example leads directly to the second retail IT game changer of recent years.
Retail on the Road
M-commerce existed in 2006, but as more of a theory than a reality. Retailers that had mobile sites mostly replicated their sites designed for desktop/laptop access, resulting in incredibly clunky performance and poor graphics and navigation. Capabilities did not generally go beyond basic transactional and product search functionality.
Fast forward to today and m-commerce is a distinct channel retailers leverage for the unique capabilities of the mobile device, such as the abovementioned scanning barcodes for product information as well as real-time, personalized discounts and offers based on customer location, among other features. Retailers are increasingly recognizing the growing primacy of mobile as consumers’ preferred online channel by using “mobile first” responsive design strategies when building their digital commerce infrastructures.
Facebook did not become open to the general public until fall 2006 and Twitter launched in summer 2006. MySpace.com, the dominant social network of the time, had little business applicability other than as a means for independent musicians and filmmakers to preview their work. For all practical purposes, social retailing did not exist.
Retailers began setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts as those platforms began soaring in popularity, but it really has only been in the past couple of years that having a social presence has become expected, or that retailers have started conducting actual social commerce (mainly via Facebook). Throw in the fast growth of emerging social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram as e-commerce mechanisms and you have a well-established retail channel that did not exist seven years ago.
The only constant in life is change, and the retail IT landscape will look quite different in 2020, probably as a result of technologies we cannot imagine today.