Rochester mall to make historic change
The Marketplace Mall located in the Henrietta area of Rochester, New York, will convert to an outlet center.
The mall will undergo capital improvements, remerchandising of the retail mix, and will be rebranded as Marketplace Outlets. This is a first-of-its-kind full conversion of an enclosed regional mall to an outlet center.
Commercial and real estate management company Wilmorite has selected The Outlet Resource Group (TORG), a global firm specializing in the outlet industry, to provide strategic guidance on the marketing and leasing of the center as it transitions to an outlet destination.
Aéropostale, New York & Company and The Limited all plan to convert their stores in Marketplace from full price to outlet formats.
“We are fully committed to making this an extremely smooth and successful process,” said Dennis Wilmot, senior VP of leasing and development for Wilmorite. “We are working hand-in-hand with our retail partners and TORG to explore opportunities to provide a dynamic mix of the most sought after brands to operate outlet stores in Marketplace Outlets.”
Small chain thinks big with personalized promotions
Marc’s, a 58-store deep-discounter of grocery, health and beauty products and other items, is providing targeted recommendations with help from national partners.
The Cleveland-based retailer is teaming up with Allrecipes to introduce in-store beacon-triggered experiences that provide shoppers with personalized meal recommendations through the Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app. In-store notifications are triggered on shoppers’ smartphones by a Verifone beacon system running on the Footmarks SmartConnect proximity platform.
The hyper-local beacon triggered notifications are delivered to Allrecipes Dinner Spinner app users on their smartphones upon entering a Marc’s store, providing the shopper with meal recommendations trending among local home cooks along with recipes featuring products on sale at that particular Marc’s store.
Heightened relevancy to shoppers is further provided by considering the season and local weather to determine appropriate meal ideas. In addition, brands have the opportunity to deliver targeted promotions within the app. So far, results include a 50% increase in app usage in designated areas of Marc’s stores and a click-through rate for in-store notifications of 6.43%, more than double the 2.7% average click-through rate for mobile search.
“Marc’s and our chain of stores are excited to be a part of this collaborative effort that brings together meal solutions, the grocery experience, and digital to the forefront of our customers’ shopping experience” said Day Armelli, marketing director for Marc’s. “We anticipate this will open up additional doors that allow us to deliver greater value to our customers by helping them make the most out of their in-store shopping experience.”
With most customers carrying smartphones and downloading third-party apps, even smaller retailers like Marc’s have the opportunity to leverage existing infrastructure and software to easily deliver targeted mobile promotions. Beacon technology is also becoming commonplace and does not require extensive implementation, further easing the way for chains of all sizes to offer a highly personalized in-store experience.
Walmart taking on Amazon with same-day delivery pilot
Walmart is teaming up with a few third-party partners — including two names very familiar to consumers — to take on its biggest rival in the competitive in the area of online delivery.
As part of its growing efforts to compete with Amazon, the discount titan will launch pilots of grocery deliveries using the Uber and Lyft ride-hailing services from Walmart stores in Denver and one other unidentified market by mid-June. Walmart also revealed it has been running a pilot of “last mile” grocery and general merchandise deliveries with Deliv in Miami-area Sam’s Club stores since March.
Walmart has been piloting its own same-day grocery and general merchandise delivery service in the Denver and San Jose markets, and also offers curbside grocery pickup in many areas. However, these pilots show a renewed emphasis on effectively offering the type of same-day delivery convenience for which Amazon is famous.
Unlike the Amazon same-day delivery model, which relies upon Prime Now membership, the Walmart and Sam’s Club pilots do not require any additional membership fee. Instead, customers pay a $7-$10 delivery fee at time of purchase when they select “same-day delivery” at checkout.
In all the pilots, customers are notified of the third-party service being used to deliver their items, and no fee will be charged by the driver. Personal Walmart shoppers prepare the orders, which are then fulfilled by the delivery service.
In an interview with Chain Store Age, Daphne Carmeli, founder and CEO of Deliv, offered her company’s perspective on the Sam’s Club pilot.
“We got a call from Walmart and are pretty excited to be working with the biggest retailer in the world,” said Carmeli. “It’s amazing the effect the ‘A-word,’ Amazon, is having on the e-commerce landscape. They have created a customer expectation of same-day delivery. It’s the new standard. If you’re selling physical goods to customers you’ve got to figure out a way to get them to customers as quickly as possible.”
Sam’s Club customers select same-day delivery and a time window, and then make payment, through the Sam’s Club site or app. They never directly interact with Deliv online, although they do get access to a visual map that will show them where their driver is and estimated time of delivery.
Carmeli outlined what she sees as the differences between delivery specialists like her company and transportation providers such as Uber and Lyft.
“We lay down the pipes for pickup and delivery,” said Carmeli. “Moving people and packages is very different. We might send one driver for 20 deliveries. An on-demand service like Uber or Lyft will send 20 drivers for 20 deliveries. It’s a different logistical problem than scheduled delivery.”
Walmart has offered its own versions of everything from Amazon Prime Day to Amazon Prime to free cloud hosting to shipping drones. This latest effort is another sign Walmart is not going to simply accept Amazon’s dominance of the e-commerce space.
While Walmart may never match Amazon’s assortment, it has the decided advantage of thousands of stores that can serve as highly localized fulfillment centers. If the discounter can make the economics and logistics of same-day delivery from stores work with a little outside help, it will be one battle in the Amazon war it can win.