OPERATIONS

Jones Lang LaSalle launches iPad app prototype to support leasing

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chicago — Jones Lang LaSalle announced Wednesday that it has launched an iPad app prototype for its retail leasing team to support the 98 million-sq.-ft. nationwide retail portfolio it manages.

The app features interactive lease plans that include all relevant property information, detailed images of the interior and exterior space, aerial photos, demographics information and an interactive map. All of the information is updated automatically via a centralized database, eliminating the need to reprint expensive color brochures that become outdated.

“This flexible and dynamic technology platform will enable us to work smarter by creating a streamlined leasing and marketing process that will ultimately enhance our ability to serve our clients,” said Greg Maloney, CEO and president, Jones Lang LaSalle Retail. “Not only is this a more sustainable practice, our teams can now travel lighter with all the information they need on their iPad.”

The leasing app is based off of a web-based cloud service called Property Capsule designed to manage portfolio data across a variety of mediums. The core architecture is focused around providing a central repository “cloud” for all property-related data such as property overviews, leasing agent contacts, tenant lists, site plans, photos and demographics. Managed access to this data is then provided to a series of outputs including printed materials and Jones Lang LaSalle’s website.

Jones Lang LaSalle Retail engaged digital media design company No.Inc. to provide strategic leadership and execution for the development of the app.
The firm said it is also in the early stages of developing a similar app to be used by its property management teams.

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FINANCE

ComScore: Online spending up 13% to $36 billion in Q3

BY Marianne Wilson

Reston, Va. — Online retail spending reached $36.3 billion for the third quarter of 2911, up 13% versus year ago, according to comScore. This growth rate represented the eighth consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth rates.

The top-performing online product categories were: digital content & Subscriptions, event tickets, jewelry & watches, consumer electronics (excl. computer peripherals) and computer software. Each category grew at least 15% versus a year ago, comScore reported.

“The third quarter of 2011 saw a continuation of the year’s strength in U.S. retail e-commerce spending, even in the face of renewed economic headwinds and uncertainty facing the U.S. consumer,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “More consumers than ever before are relying on the online channel for product and pricing information, which along with the Internet’s fundamental appeal of convenience and attractive pricing, are contributing to the sustained upward momentum in e-commerce spending.”

Other highlights from third quarter 2011 include:

  • The 13% increase was primarily a function of an increase in the number of buyers (up 22%), with 74% of all Internet users making at least one online purchase in the quarter.
  • Forty percent of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, down from a peak of 49% percent in fourth quarter 2010. Free shipping rates tend to peak during the holiday season.
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OPERATIONS

Conference Board survey finds holiday shoppers in frugal mood

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — U.S. households are expected to spend an average of $497 on gifts this holiday season, The Conference Board reported. Only 7% of consumers said they plan to spend more on holiday gifts this year, while approximately 49% plan on spending less than last year.

The survey of holiday gift spending intentions, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. It was conducted in October.

"As the holiday season approaches, we once again find consumers in a frugal mood," said Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center. "With the overwhelming majority of consumers expecting to spend the same or less than they did last year, it’s not surprising that they expect a large share of their purchases to be on sale or discounted."

Four out of 10 holiday shoppers say they expect more than half of their purchases to be on sale or discounted. An additional three out of 10 expect a quarter to half of their purchases to be discounted.

Close to two-thirds of consumers expect to purchase a portion of their holiday gifts online, with about 15% saying more than half of their gifts will be purchased online.

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