A new research report by The NPD Group unveiled information I already knew: the restaurant space is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, the total restaurant count in the U.S. increased by 4,442 units over last year, according to NPD’s recent restaurant census Fall 2012 ReCount.
That’s no small potatoes.
Some 616,008 eateries now dot the country, representing a .7% increase over last year, with the biggest growth coming from the quick-serve segment (up 1% over last year, or an added 4,037 units).
The total chain restaurant count grew to 276,238, or a 1.1% increase compared to last year’s count. Independent restaurant units remained stable at a total count of 339,770, a slight increase of .4%, found NPD, which is the second consecutive increase for independents since 2009.
What is most significant in our own industry segment – retail real estate – is the impact that this growing category has on other tenants, and on a shopping center’s overall traffic counts. Smart mall owners are spending way more time and energy on beefing up their restaurant offerings. The super-savvy build veritable restaurant rows, creating dining districts irresistible to patrons who have an appetite for options when they go out.
Today’s mall food purveyors are a far cry from the interior food courts of yesterday. Sure, those still exist – and leverage the convenience factor – but the current recipe for success involves replacing underperforming retail tenants with a sit-down restaurant, or bringing in a high-end eatery as a mall anchor. Mall owners seemingly have no reservations about putting restaurants at or near the top of their leasing must-have lists.
In my own hometown of Baton Rouge, La., a restaurant district adjacent to the open-air wing of Mall of Louisiana is frequently packed, particularly on Wednesday-Sunday evenings. Nearby town center Perkins Rowe has several major dining attractions, namely Texas de Brazil, Kona Grill and California Pizza Kitchen, that keep patrons coming and adjacent retailers happy.
I doubt a lineup of restaurants would do much to rescue a doomed property, but the category is clearly elevating viable shopping centers that need to create a sense of community, encourage gathering and, of course, fill empty spaces.
TPN adds Shamberg to team
Retail marketing agency, TPN, part of the Diversified Agency Services division of Omnicom, named Scott Shamberg SVP of growth and emerging commerce.
TPN said the addition of Shamberg would help the firm stay ahead of the curve as the retail and commerce landscape continues to evolve.
"We know retailers want to reach their targets across every possible channel, and that means activating the best retail experience across a much wider path," said Sharon Love , TPN’s CEO. "That’s why Scott’s a great fit for our organization and our continued efforts to reimagine retail. His unique experiences, style and approach are sure to inspire clients and TPN teams to think differently about how we can continue to bring new and dynamic ideas to every aspect of our business."
In his new role, Shamberg, will work across all of TPN’s nine offices, including Chicago, New York, Dallas, San Francisco and Bentonville, Ar. He brings with him a strong digital pedigree, having spent time working with and advising start-ups in the commerce and ad tech space. Previously, he spent eight years at Critical Mass and was an instrumental part of the agency’s growth.
"The people that brands talk with today are totally in control of deciding when, where and what they buy," said Shamberg. "Today, retail is happening everywhere. TPN has a depth of retail expertise that is as good or better than any other agency. We have a great opportunity to take that expertise, continue to pair it with new technology and apply it to the way commerce is changing."
Shamberg will lead TPN marketing and business development in addition to working with TPN clients. His focus will be to expand the agency’s core retail service offerings and create new products and services that further facilitate the consumer purchase experience in the increasing digital world. The firm bills itself as a brand-centric retail marketing agency with a proven history of providing thought-provoking perspectives, ideas and inspiration to global brands and retailers. TPN takes an intellectual and experienced approach to applying its core disciplines, shopper marketing, customer-specific marketing, consumer promotions and environmental design, to build brands and close sales.
Schick expands portfolio with new disposable razors for men, women
SHELTON, Conn. — Schick, an Energizer Personal Care brand, is expanding the Schick Hydro franchise of razors with the launch of new Schick Hydro 5 disposables and Schick Hydro Silk disposables.
Introduced in 2010, the Schick Hydro razor offered the first-of-its-kind technology. Available in three- and five-blade options, Schick Hydro utilizes technology including skin guards, a flip trimmer on the five-blade razor, an ergonomic handle and a hydrating gel reservoir to provide hydration throughout each shave. In 2012 the Schick Hydro Power Select, a powered wet shave razor, became available on the market offering a major advancement in men’s grooming. The brand expanded with the launch of Schick Hydro Silk for women, a razor built upon the technology of the Schick Hydro brand. Using water-activated moisturizing serum, the Schick Hydro Silk razor hydrates skin to help replenish moisture shaving can take away.