Mini-Bellagio fountain debuts at Plano center
Will public spaces be the new anchor tenants in the shopping centers and mixed-use facilities of the 21st Century?
That’s the opinion of J. Wickham Zimmerman, whose construction company Outside the Lines is unveiling a Bellagio-esque fountain that will present choreographed water shows at Legacy West in Plano, Texas.
“Retailers recognize the importance of integrating thoughtfully designed gathering spaces and artful show fountains to drive foot traffic,” Zimmerman said.
OTL’s fountain will cover 3,500 sq. ft. across three basins. It incorporates 131 nozzles and 398 LED lights to produce programmable water displays synchronized to 14 songs.
One of the largest mixed-use developments in North Texas, Legacy West contains 415,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurant space, a 55,000 square-foot food hall; more than 1,300 luxury residential units, and a 303-room Renaissance Legacy Hotel.
The project’s developer, Fehmi Karahan, said he envisions the fountain becoming the “hallmark of Legacy West.”
KPMG to build facility at Lake Nona
The nation’s fastest-growing planned community keeps speeding along.
The Tavistock development, which already has 12,000 permanent residents, will add another thousand visitors a week thanks to a KPMG training facility that broke ground this week. In addition, the $400 million facility will house an employee staff of 330.
That’s good news for Steiner + Associates’ Lake Nona Town Center — the retail, hotel, and entertainment component that completed its first phase last year. The next phases of the 3.8-million-sq.-ft. center will include a luxury theater, a brewery, a performance venue and a bowling concept, though Steiner is not yet ready to name names.
The town center appears ready for the steady transient population KPMG will bring. Phase one included dual-branded Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott hotel and 16,000 sq. ft. of fully leased retail and restaurant space.
AmEx: Digital security concerns influence purchase behavior
Merchants may be losing out on potential e-commerce sales due to shoppers’ concerns over the security of their information in the digital world.
Of consumers who have made three or more online purchases in the last year, 37% abandoned a purchase because they did not feel their payment would be secure, according to “The 2017 American Express Digital Payments Survey.” The report, based on responses from 1,020 U.S. consumers and 401 U.S. merchants, revealed that the level of fraudulent online sales has increased or remained the same over the past year for 73% of merchants.
In the past year, retailers spent 31% of their IT budgets on payment security. More than half (54%) reported that their budget for payment security will increase over the next year.
Retailers are also taking additional steps to boost digital security. More than half (53%) of merchants require customers to enter the CVV code found on credit cards for online purchases. Meanwhile, 42% of retailers feature technology to confirm customers are not robots, or utilize data encryption (40%). Four-in-10 (39%) merchants decline transactions when a verified billing address has not been provided. Only 38% of merchants require customers to set up an account before making a purchase online.
“Digital innovation is enabling consumers to buy from merchants when and where it’s most convenient for them,” says Mike Matan, VP, industry engagement, product and marketing, Global Network Business, American Express. “But the results of our survey show that for merchants to capitalize on consumers’ continued shift to online and mobile commerce, they need to provide their customers with the confidence that their information is secure.”
Despite their concerns, however, shoppers are continuing to use digital channels. Nine-in-10 (90%) consumers said they have made at least one online purchase in the past 12 months, and 73% have made three or more online purchases in the same time frame.
Nearly half of online shoppers (47%) said they have increased the frequency of their online purchases in the last year. And 71% of merchants said the proportion of their annual sales generated through online and mobile channels has increased over the previous year.
Shoppers are also using more digital payment options. More than 70% of online shoppers have used digital-payment services, including mobile wallets, one-click checkout buttons and P2P payment apps. Four-in-10 (41%) said they always or sometimes use such digital solutions when they pay.
Internet-connected devices are also poised to further shape consumer purchasing behavior, as 18% of consumers said they are very likely or somewhat likely to use voice-activated services to make a purchase in the future, the study reported.
In other survey findings:
• Among the 71% of merchants that have experienced an increase in online and mobile sales over the last year, more than half (58%) said that enhanced security features have had a very significant impact on their sales.
• Other factors significantly impacting their sales include an improved checkout process (54%), the availability of free delivery (55%), marketing offers and discounts exclusively for online customers (53%), and a general consumer shift toward online shopping (54%), data revealed.