REAL ESTATE

Divaris Real Estate signs new retail tenants for Virginia Beach site

BY Dan Berthiaume

Virginia Beach, Va. – Divaris Real Estate Inc. has signed a lease with Twist Martini & Associates for 2,442 sq. ft. of retail space in the Town Center of Virginia Beach. Twist Martini will operate a full-menu, dine-in restaurant including a martini bar, a cigar club, an outside patio area and a private lounge on the second floor.

A grand opening in Town Center is planned for September 2014. This is the fourth new tenant to reveal its opening in the fifth phase at the Town Center of Virginia Beach. Recent announcements of new retailers to join the mixed-use development include Anthropologie, Free People and lululemon athletica. Additional new tenants — primarily fashion and soft furnishing retailers — will be announced in the near future.

Other noted retailers in The Town Center include Brooks Brothers, Loft, Origins, Cache’, Johnston & Murphy, Sunglass Hut, Men’s Wearhouse, bevello, Louis Jones Art Gallery, and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Recent openings include Destination Maternity and It’Sugar. The project is being developed by Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. The Town Center provides a mix of multilevel upscale retail, Class A office, luxury residential, The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts and an array of cafes, restaurants and deluxe business hotels.

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Impulse Merchandising: Why Selling a Toaster on the Checkout Line Won’t Fly

BY CSA STAFF

By Keith Carpentier, senior business development manager, Tensator

The days of the mega big box are over, retail is shrinking and store footprints are getting smaller. Gondolas, shelving systems and displays need to be extra space efficient in small footprints to make the most use of revenue per square foot. Impulse merchandising is a great way to maximize smaller footprints while capturing shopper interest and boosting incremental revenue especially as customers wait in line for checkout. The problem is, too many retailers try and stick large and pricey items like a toaster or a microwave on a checkout line shelving system or display thinking that because of where it is placed — it is now an impulse item.

So are there some types of products that work better for impulse merchandising? The answer is a resounding, yes. Impulse items are just that – items that don’t require a whole lot of consideration, don’t mean comparison shopping or “show rooming,” isn’t priced too highly — usually at a price point no higher than $9.99 — and evokes an emotional response, has an element of fun or immediate gratification.

Impulse merchandise items are those a customer can easily visualize themselves using or consuming in the near term. And the product should be well-known locally. In recent tests where newer unknown healthy snack items were introduced at checkout, shoppers were delayed in making impulse decisions as they started to read ingredients, comparing sodium, fat and sugar content, completely changing the buyer dynamics and causing delays and unwanted frustration at checkout.

Unfamiliarity is definitely counter to impulse dynamics and negatively affects the psychology behind impulse purchasing. In addition to regional familiarity, savvy consumers are also taking into consideration when making impulse buys brands/companies that the purchase items foster their connection with acceptable social practices – sustainability, locally grown/made.

It’s important to keep in mind that the reason people do impulse buy is because they are in a relaxed, non-confrontational browsing state of mind. This means that they aren’t on high alert — looking out for when they will be attended to next on the checkout line or worrying that the item is going to significantly impact their budget, or that they aren’t being treated fairly and are in defense mode thinking they are going to be cut in overcrowded lines. Keeping this in mind create a frame of reference that will genuinely help retailers place the items they can successfully merchandise at checkout.

Holistically speaking, for impulse merchandising to work there needs to be an underlying retailer commitment to ensuring the customer has a good overall in-store experience. This means that from the moment the customer enters the store, they are delighted, impressed and even more knowledgeable about new solutions or offers than when they first entered the store.

It also means that their service needs are met and that they are ensured an orderly and friendly checkout service, and that the impulse merchandise is seasonal and enticing, not leftovers that have been picked through or random products placed there to create confusion and disarray. With so many omnichannel options for shoppers, it is important to look at the whole in-store customer experience even create a draw with interactive experiential demos, and when considering the best impulse merchandise – make sure the products are carefully displayed, priced sensibly and have familiarity and appeal to your customers’ emotions. Positioned correctly these items will pique customers and help ensure the whole store is making the absolute most and best use of every square retail inch.

Keith Carpentier is senior business development manager of Tensator, a leader in queue management and customer journey solutions. The company offers a large range of digital media platforms, electronic and virtual queue management, display and signage products, crowd and access control solutions, in-queue merchandising, self-service systems, and the Tensabarrier, one of the most respected barrier in the world. He can be contacted at [email protected].


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Sears appoints new general counsel

BY CSA STAFF

Sears Holdings has named Kristin M. Coleman as SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary. Coleman most recently served as Brunswick Corporation’s VP, general counsel and corporate secretary.

She will be responsible for the oversight and leadership of Sears Holdings’ legal business unit that includes a team of attorneys and paralegals as well as corporate communications; environmental services; global compliance; government affairs; internal audit; and product safety. Prior to Brunswick, Coleman served as a VP and associate general counsel at Mead Johnson Nutrition Company and as an attorney with Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago.

"I am pleased Kristin is joining our leadership team. She is a proven leader with experience managing legal, compliance and corporate governance issues," said Edward S. Lampert, Sears Holdings chairman and CEO. "Having started her career as a litigator and transitioning into corporate law, she brings a breadth and depth of experience to Sears Holdings in litigation and governance, including mergers and acquisitions and securities, which will serve us well as we continue on our path to transform the company."

Coleman received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor.

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