REAL ESTATE

RKF announces broker promotions

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York — RKF has announced a number of promotions for senior brokerage professionals in its New York City headquarters office. The promotions come closely on the heels of RKF’s expansion of its New York headquarters space at 521 Fifth Avenue in midtown Manhattan.

Jeremy Ezra has been promoted from VP to executive VP and will now serve on the firm’s Executive Committee. Ezra will continue to primarily focus on assisting retailers in their strategic expansions regionally and nationally. His current tenant representation assignments include the roll-out for Reebok’s new fitness hub retail concept, It’Sugar, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, Adidas, Mitchell & Ness, Kenneth Cole, Charming Charlie and Joe’s Jeans in New York and major markets nationally.

In addition to his work on behalf of tenants, Ezra has also provided retail leasing and consulting services to developers, including assignments such as Town Place at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill, NJ; Mercato in Naples, Florida; and Long Island’s The Gate at Manhasset.

Greg Covey has been promoted from managing director to VP. Since joining RKF in 2007, Covey has worked with landlord clients, including Jamestown Properties, the CIM Group, Property Group Partners, Atlantic Development Group, Hilton Worldwide, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Edward J. Minskoff Equities, the World-Wide Group and Dominion Management. In addition, Covey provides retail leasing and consulting services in New York City to national retailers such as 7-Eleven, GNC, The Children’s Place and Allen Edmonds, as well as international retailers such as French fashion house Zadig & Voltaire and Japanese eyewear company JINS. He is also working with newcomers to the New York City marketplace, including Charming Charlie, Roti Mediterranean Grill, Big Smoke Burger and The Melt.

Caleb Petersen has been promoted from managing director to VP. Petersen specializes in landlord and tenant representation in the New York metropolitan area and national urban retail markets. His retail clients include Rag & Bone, Oakley, The Frye Company, Unilever, LF USA, Marc Jacobs, Opening Ceremony and Godiva as well as J.Lindeberg, Gianvito Rossi, T2 and Furla. He has also represented owners including Jamestown Properties, Pam Am Equities, LCOR, RFR Realty and Hines.

Marc Finkel has been promoted from managing director to senior managing director. Finkel joined RKF in 2001 as an associate and specializes in retail leasing for landlords and retailers throughout the New York metropolitan area and Southern California markets. He has represented retailers such as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, ROTI, Intermix, American Apparel, Guess, Lacoste, Chop’t Creative Salad Company, The Chobani Company, The Tao Group, Goorin Brothers, Badgley Mischka and Vivienne Tam. Finkel also represents landlords Related Companies, The REEC Group, David Ellis Realty and Midwood Investment and Development.

Brian Segall has been promoted from senior director to managing director. Segall joined RKF in 2007 and specializes in retail leasing and investment opportunities primarily in New York City as well as select urban markets. Segall has been instrumental in the transformation of the Bowery neighborhood where he represented the buyer and seller of properties that include 250 Bowery; 260 Bowery; 325 Bowery and 328 Bowery. He helped complete the sales of two prime New York City retail assets: the five-story mixed-used property at 154 Spring Street for $17 million and a mixed-use building at 1151 Third Avenue for $18 million to Acadia Realty Trust.

Ross Berkowitz has been promoted from director to senior director. Berkowitz began his career with RKF in 2007 as a college intern, joined the firm as a canvasser in 2009 and was promoted to associate in 2010. He represents many institutional investors, as well as families and individual investors of real estate and retail space. He has worked on behalf of SL Green Realty Corp.; Trevi Retail; Stonehenge Partners; Kushner Companies; Acadia Realty Trust; Linfield Capital and The Durst Organization. Most recently, he represented the landlords in leases for A. Lange & Söhne at 785 Madison Avenue; Pret A Manger & Fika Espresso Bar at 600 Lexington Avenue; Trinity Preschool at 100 Church Street; GNC at 650 Sixth Avenue and Organic Avenue at 254 Park Avenue South.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Study: High-income shoppers like warehouse club products

BY Marianne Wilson

Chicago — High-income consumers think warehouse club products are on a par with leading brands, according to new research from Mintel. Indeed, 38% believe store brand or private label brands at warehouse clubs are comparable to name brand items in terms of quality — a number that increases to 44% of households earning $150K+. That’s the highest percentage of all income groups surveyed, compared to 27% of those earning less than $25K, 36% of those earning $50-$74.9K and 41% of those with incomes between $100-$149.9K.

Furthermore, 40% of warehouse club users say warehouse clubs carry quality products — with 46% of households with an income of $150+ reporting as much. The number drops to 32% for those earning less than $25K, 41% of those earning $50-$74.9K, and 42% of those with household incomes between $100-$149.9K.

"Shoppers in this group may be more likely to shop across a wider variety of retail stores, and therefore more aware of the price differential among retailers," said Ali Lipson, category manager – retail, apparel, technology and automotive at Mintel. "They are also more likely to be able to afford the shopping trip compared to those with lower incomes. Product messaging and signage that highlights the quality of warehouse club products is sure to resonate with this demographic."

This market also might be immune to threat of online shopping, as more than six in 10 (63%) Americans have shopped (in-store) at a warehouse club in the last six months, but only a quarter (25%) have done so online.

"One deterrent to online shopping in this channel could be that stores offer bulk- sized packages so the cost of shipping large items could prove prohibitive," noted Lipson. "Additionally, part of the appeal of warehouse club shopping is the ‘treasure hunt’ aspect, or discovering unique items throughout the store. Currently, the warehouse clubs’ online model is unable to replicate this experience."

More than one third (36%) of warehouse club shoppers agree that they like finding unique items when shopping at warehouse clubs. This number increases significantly for women 55+, with 45% of that demographic reporting as much. The least likely bargain hunters at 30% are women 18-34.

Warehouse club shoppers may not be visiting their favorite store online, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fans of technology. Eleven percent of those surveyed said an app that helps them navigate the store and find items would encourage them to visit warehouse clubs more often or sign up for a membership. Meanwhile, 12% agree that sales associates with handheld devices that can provide checkout anywhere in the store would increase their usage.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Report: Retailers lag behind Amazon in strategic use of analytics

BY Marianne Wilson

Randolph, N.J. — Retailers are behind Amazon in analytics maturity, according to a new research report from EKN Research. Eighty percent of retailers say they are behind Amazon in analytics maturity, and 71% of retailers perform either basic analytics reporting or none at all – revealing retailers’ inability to take advantage of the data that is available to them.

The report, EKN’s 3rd Annual Analytics in Retail, show that while four in five retailers use enterprise-grade analytics, they cite analytics interpretation as their biggest challenge. (The study was sponsored by Manthan and SAS.”

“Retailers view analytics as extremely strategic, yet they currently struggle to derive commensurate value from their analytics investments,” said Gaurav Pant, senior VP Research and principal analyst, EKN. “However, there are significant opportunities for retailers that can harness the power of analytics. Retailers that can overlay their analytics capabilities with a strategy and organizational capability tightly linked with their business model will gain competitive advantage.”
Highlights of the report include:

• Retail spending on analytics is increasing. The retail industry’s average spending on analytics as a percentage of the total IT budget is set to increase from 14% (2013) to 23% (2017). With increased spending, retailers can begin to bring on skilled resources and systems that can help translate analytics data into strategic competitive differentiation.

• Retailers lack structure and ownership for analytics reporting: According to EKN’s data, 51% of surveyed retailers don’t have a formal analytics team, which creates data silos and inconsistency in reporting. Moreover, 42% have no single owner that is responsible for creating an analytics strategy and roadmap – further hindering retailers’ abilities in analytics.

• Retailers are focused on hindsight reporting. 70% of retailers are stuck in a hindsight-oriented reporting cycle; however, as the report indicates, a shift towards data/insight-driven decisions can have dramatic impact on efficiency and performance. The transition from hindsight- to foresight-oriented analytics reporting gives retailers a big opportunity to close the value realization gap.

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