DEALS

PREIT’s version of ‘That’s Entertainment’

BY Al Urbanski

Dining and entertainment square footage continues to replace that of department stores in PREIT’s mall portfolio.

Last week the Philadelphia-based developer announced that it had signed leases to fill vacated Sears space at two of its properties. Five Below and an unnamed off-price furniture retailer will join Burlington in the former Sears at the Magnolia Mall in Florence, South Carolina.

At Capital City Mall in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, Fine Wine & Good Spirits signed a lease to join Dick’s Sporting Goods in the old Sears footprint.

This week, PREIT announced plans for entertainment expansion. The company claims that non-anchor space in its portfolio dedicated to dining and entertainment has increased by 36% since 2012.

All In Adventures, an escape room concept, has signed leases to open in Magnolia Mall as well as two other Pennsylvania malls — Viewmont and Willow Grove Park.

Tilt Studio has signed a lease to bring its rides, arcade games, bowling, and laser tag to Patrick Henry Mall in Newport News, Virginia, and Dave & Busters will do a 15% expansion of its location at Springfield Town Center in Springfield, Virginia.

“PREIT has added over one million sq. ft. of dining, entertainment, health and wellness, fast fashion and off price tenants, an increase of more than 70% of space committed to these tenants in five years,” said company CEO Joseph Coradino.

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Study: Majority of back-to-school shopping will happen in-store

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Consumers are in search of the latest back-to-school deals and experiences — and hitting their local shopping centers to find them.

This was according to the annual “ICSC Back-to-School Spending” survey. The report from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), which was conducted between July 6-July 9, is based on a sample of 1,010 U.S. adults, 18 years of age and older.

This year, 89% of consumers are headed to their local shopping centers and malls to make their school supply purchases. What is at the top of their shopping list? Finding the best deals and promotions.

The average back-to-school shopper is expected to spend $353.20. Parents of children in K-12 could spend $309.60 on average, while those buying for college/post-secondary plan to spend an average of $437.80. Two-fifths (40%) will wait to start back-to-school shopping until they see advertisements or sale prices in stores. Nearly 90% said they are influenced by promotions in terms of the amount they spend and the items they purchase.

“Back-to-school is one of the shopping seasons where we really find people looking for specific items at the best price,” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. “Consumers are more informed than ever and research prices and products prior to making a purchase so it isn’t surprising that so many shoppers are waiting for sales and discounts before buying their back-to-school items.”

Discount stores continue to be the most popular venue for back-to-school shoppers (69%), followed by office supply stores (37%). Department stores (32%) will also see strong activity during the back-to-school season.

Digital will play a role as well, this shopping season. A majority of consumers (81%) will utilize their mobile devices while in-store shopping for merchandise. Among this group, 58% will compare prices, 39% will download digital coupons, 38% will check availability/inventory, and 30% will take pictures of items that might be purchased.

When it comes to shopping online, 30% of consumers intend to order items online from retailers with a physical store presence and pick them up in-store. Among shoppers who have already used this click-and-collect method, 81% have made an additional purchase(s) at other stores or establishments when picking up their online order, the study said.

Physical interaction with goods is the top reason for back-to-school shoppers to visit stores. Most important among these shoppers are:

• The “ability to see, touch, or try on the merchandise” (46%)

• The “ability to browse/ease of buying specific items” (36%)

• The “convenience of one-stop shopping” (35%)

• “Avoiding shipping fees” (34%)

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Menswear retailer launches its first mobile app

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Destination XL Group has a new way to connect with its loyal shoppers.

The menswear retailer launched its first mobile app — a move that will help it engage shoppers whether they are on-the-go or in-store. Designed with mobile commerce provider PredictSpring, the app will help Destination XL create a more modern shopping experience.

For example, the app keeps shoppers logged into their loyalty account, giving them instant access to XL Rewards certificates and point balances. All rewards can be used online or in-store.

The app also features product search filters and a barcode scanner that allows them to scan in-store item barcodes to get additional product information, such as sizing, colors and availability. A store locator that uses an in-app Google Maps interface rounds out the app’s functionality.

Customers will receive 100 rewards points when they download the app and log in to their account. The app is currently available for download in the Apple App Store and on Google Play, according to the retailer.

“Through PredictSpring’s mobile platform, we are able to deliver the products consumers want, when and where they want it, while also creating an enhanced in-store experience,” said Sahal Laher, chief digital officer and CIO of Destination XL Group, Inc.

Destination XL Group, Inc. currently operates 218 DXL Men’s Apparel stores across the United States, as well as two locations in Ontario, Canada.

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