REAL ESTATE

Inland launches new mobile app for University Town Center Norman, Okla.

BY CSA STAFF

Inland Diversified Real Estate Services said it has launched a new mobile application designed to enhance customer engagement and retention and interaction with retailers at University Town Center, a neighborhood shopping center in Norman, Okla., that is owned by Inland Diversified Real Estate Trust.

Named after the center, which is located near the Oklahoma State University and University of Oklahoma campuses, the University Town Center mobile app aims to provide rich, interactive content and promotional offers to engage local consumers and promote the advantages of shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.

“With the more than 78 million people in the U.S. that currently use smartphones to download apps, search for stores, compare prices and research product details, we saw an opportunity to develop an app that the Norman community can use to help support local businesses and stabilize their local economy,” said Maureen Denard, VP and director of marketing for Inland Diversified Real Estate Services.

University Town Center features a diverse tenant mix that draws from the approximately 102,000 consumers within a five-mile radius, including the more than 32,000 students and faculty members from the University of Oklahoma alone. Well-positioned to benefit from this tech-savvy student population, the mobile app features advanced tools that enhance the shopping experience and allow customers to engage directly with retailers on a recurring basis. Features include loyalty programs, personalized messages, and a customer feedback channel,

“We’ve already received positive feedback to this new mobile application, and look forward to rolling out this app at many of the shopping centers in our portfolio,” said Denard.

The new University Town Center mobile app is currently available on the iPhone and iPad and will be available on the Android, Blackberry and HTML 5.0 systems this summer.


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June sales down at Rite Aid, Walgreens

BY CSA STAFF

DEERFIELD, Ill. and Camp Hill, Pa. — Walgreens and Rite Aid both reported declines in total sales for June.

Walgreens on posted June sales of about $5.6 billion, a decrease of 6.8% as compared with the same month in fiscal year 2011.

June pharmacy sales decreased 10.7%, while comparable-store pharmacy sales slid 15%. Calendar day shifts negatively impacted pharmacy sales in comparable stores by 2.3 percentage points. Comparable-store pharmacy sales were negatively impacted by 5.8 percentage points due to generic drug introductions in the last 12 months, by 0.7 percentage points due to the product mix of cough, cold and flu drugs.

Pharmacy sales accounted for 62.9% of total sales for the month.

Walgreens did see a small positive gain in total front-end sales, which increased 0.5%, compared with the same month in 2011; however, comparable-store front-end sales decreased 1%. Customer traffic in comparable stores decreased 2.3% while basket size increased 1.3%.

Sales in comparable stores decreased by 10%.

Rite Aid’s same-store sales decreased in June, compared with June 2011, due largely to a decrease in pharmacy comps, the retail pharmacy chain said Thursday.

The 1% decrease in overall comps included a 1.6% decrease in pharmacy same-store sales — including a negative effect of 672 basis points from new generic introductions — and a 0.3% increase in front-end same-store sales. Prescription count at comparable stores increased 2.9%.

Total drug store sales declined as well, to $1.9 billion, compared with nearly $1.6 billion in June 2011.

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Tech Notes

BY Marianne Wilson

The customer experience is fueling IT spending like never before. That was my main takeaway from Oracle Retail CrossTalk 2012, which was held June 26 -28, in Chicago. The following are some insights and observations from a few of the speakers at the event.

Gary Penn, VP e-commerce, Quiksilver:
“Handheld traffic is growing exponentially, and so is the revenue. You have to address it. If you don’t, you are leaving a good part of your audience out in the cold.”

“Tablet users need to be addressed. Quicksilver is finding that one-fifth—20%—of its traffic is coming from tablets.”

“Don’t ask tablet users to contact you by phone. ‘Click to chat’ is growing like wildflower. If you can’t implement it, don’t ask them to call for more information. Tablets aren’t phones.”

Michael Rodgers, executive VP, CIO, Saks Fifth Avenue:
“Marketing is going to drive a lot of IT spending. The CMO and I are joined at the hip these days.”

“In the future, mobile will be part of our store layout structure…you won’t have to have these big wrap stations.”

“Retailers live on their systems, and they need to have the right ones.”

“It’s (social networks) an informational engine, not a commerce one. We have associates in our call center always looking at Facebook and Twitter. You need to be paying attention to it, to what the customer is saying about your product and service.”

David Dorf, senior director of technology strategy, Oracle Retail:
“Consumers expect to be answered quickly when they post (on a social network). Social media is a big social amplifier…it gives you the opportunity to quickly turn around something.”

“You won’t get a lot of sales on Facebook, but it’s good for driving traffic. And your e-commerce site is the place you want to drive it.”

“For large retailers, actual selling on Facebook is not the way to go.”

“The most exciting technology being used in stores now is geo-fencing. Some retailers are even geo-fencing their competitors’ stores.”

Ron Johnson, director of technology, Disney Stores:
“Endless aisle provides the ability for a customer who says ‘I’m interested in The Nightmare Before Christmas’ to browse online for a range of products associated with that film.”

Mike Webster, senior VP and general manager, Oracle Retail
“Mobile users spend 91% of their Internet time in a social network.”


More As I See It entries.

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M.Lopez says:
Dec-03-2012 12:45 pm

Oracle Retail CrossTalk 2012
Oracle Retail CrossTalk 2012 was great this year, hopefully the event will be back next year! I'm in the investment business myself and I really loved it.

M.Lopez says:
Dec-03-2012 12:45 pm

Oracle Retail CrossTalk 2012 was great this year, hopefully the event will be back next year! I'm in the investment business myself and I really loved it.

M.Donovan says:
Oct-30-2012 09:24 am

This is a good web-site and I
This is a good web-site and I am sure that it will be like you said.

M.Donovan says:
Oct-30-2012 09:24 am

This is a good web-site and I am sure that it will be like you said.

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