empireoutlets
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Staten Island outlet project hires top consultant

BY Al Urbanski

Developers of a 350,000-sq.-ft. outlet mall in Staten Island’s burgeoning St. George district have looked across the New York Narrows to enlist the help of one of Manhattan’s most noted real estate brokers.

Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of the retail leasing and sales team at Douglas Elliman, has signed on with BCF Partners’ Empire Outlets, now taking shape in the shadow of the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel, also under development. Consolo’s focus will be adding luxury brands to a retail roster that already includes Nordstrom Rack, Columbia Sportswear, and Toys “R” Us.

"This will be the only luxury outlet mall for New York City," she said. "We're modeling it on the successful examples in Europe, with a closely curated selection of global luxury names on top of all the great American brands to present the right mix."

In the plans for Empire Outlets is a 20,000-sq.-ft. event space and 40,000 sq. ft. of dining that will include Two Boots Pizza, Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, and a food hall by MRKTPL.

Consolo intends to put a national advertising campaign behind the mall’s opening at the end of this year. She and BCF envision St. George as one of New York City’s highest-growth neighborhoods in the years ahead.

"Whole blocks are going high-rise and the density is improving,” Consolo said. “The 190-key hotel that's also part of Empire Outlets will be Staten Island's first up-market lodging."

St. George houses the Staten Island Ferry terminal and the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees minor league team.


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Walmart in patent filing for in-store drones

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

The nation’s largest retailer is ready to put a whole new spin on merchandise fulfillment.

Speed is the name of the game in retail these days, in store and online.

Looking to get merchandise into shoppers’ hands faster, Walmart was granted a patent on March 16, that would allow the chain to use drones to shuttle merchandise between departments and dedicated delivery loca-tions within its stores, Fortune reported.

According to a United States patent application publication, the drone specifically drone will dispatch inventory located in a store, secure the item via nets or hooks, and then carry the merchandise to a delivery area located within the retail store,

The drone will be used when there are “not always enough employees available to assist customers in as timely a manner as the customer might wish,” the document reported.

For example, it is not uncommon for a shopper to wait for an associate to retrieve an item that could be located in restricted part of the store, such as the back room. “When there is not an associate immediately available to deliver that item, the customer experiences delay, and that in turn, reduces customer satisfaction,” the filing summarized.

Each store would have a computer system, or a small scale automated air traffic controller, that would dispatch drones and plot flight paths. Sen-sors on the drones would help them avoid obstacles. In fact, the retailer envisions the airborne gadgets maneuvering over store aisles, to avoid in-terfering with shoppers, Fortune reported.

While the patent gives Walmart the green light to launch a drone project, the retailer has not yet confirmed any specific plans.

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Teen apparel retailer steps up its digital engagement ‘game’

BY CSA STAFF

Hollister & Co. is connecting with its shoppers through two of their favorite pastimes: mobility and video games.

Through a partnership with Rovio Entertainment and TreSensa, the re-tailer debuted a mobile video game whose activation functionality func-tions as an ad that connects the brand with loyal and potential shoppers, according to AdAge.

The retro-style game is available on the Rovio network and through Snapcodes on Snapchat. The chain is promoting the program through so-cial media, including Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, as well as in se-lect stores, Ad Age reported.

Click here to read more.

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