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Study: Leading subscription box retailers emerge

BY CSA STAFF

While online subscription box retailing is still a niche market, it is growing rapidly and consumers have selected their early favorites.

According to analysis of online behavior from Hitwise, a division of Connexity, specialty beauty retailer Birchbox and specialty men’s grooming retailer Dollar Shave Club tied among subscription box retailers with U.S. consumers in January 2016, garnering 3.6 million visits each. Curated goods retailer Loot Crate followed with 3.1 million U.S. visits. Weekly fresh ingredient retailer Blue Apron (2.6 million) and weekly individualized snack retailer Graze (1.3 million) rounded out the top five.

Although monthly visits to subscription box retailers are less than 1% of the visits received by top online retailers, the category is still seeing explosive growth. There were more than 21.4 million total U.S. visits to subscription box retailers in January 2016, an almost 3,000 % increase from 722,000 in the same month the prior year. In contrast, U.S. visits to the top 500 online retailers grew 168% in the same period.

During the 2015 holiday season, 8.6 million Americans (4.3% of the online population) visited one of the 127 sites in the Hitwise subscription box shopping custom industry index.

Analysis also shows that subscription box shoppers are demographically valuable. They predominantly fall into the 25-to-39-year-old age bracket and skew more heavily female than the average female shopper.

Given these demographics, it is not surprising that subscription box sites receive more than half of their visits coming from smartphones or tablets. During the 12 weeks ending January 23, 2016, 53% of U.S. visits to the subscription box industry were from a mobile device, compared with 35% of all online visits that come from mobile.

Subscription box shoppers also tend to be more attuned to social media. In the U.S., 13.5% of referred visits to subscription box sites in December 2015 came from a social media site, whereas the typical retail site received only 8.4% of traffic from social.

Multimedia sites and blogs are also significant drivers of traffic for subscription box sites. Dollar Beard Club, for instance, saw 4.9% of visits come in from YouTube alone when it launched in June 2015, due to an introductory video that went viral. By comparison, the typical retail site that month received just 1.6% of upstream visits from YouTube.

However, search is still the primary driver for subscription box site traffic, though less dominantly than for overall e-commerce sites. In the U.S., 34% of referred traffic to subscription retail sites came from a search engine during the month of December 2015. That same month, retail sites as a whole received 40.7% of traffic from a search engine.

As more consumers become familiar with subscription sites, Hitwise analysis suggests search grows in importance. The share of U.S. visits to subscription sites driven by search engines rose a relative 20% in the last year.

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DRE completes four leases totaling 14,367 sq. ft.

BY Melonie Messina

Richmond, Va. — Divaris Real Estate announced the completion of four leases totaling 14,367 sq. ft. of commercial space in the metropolitan Richmond, Virginia market.

Kirkland’s leased 7,606 sq. ft. of retail space in Chesterfield Towne Center in Richmond, Virginia. Chesterfield Towne Center retailers include: Ulta, Old Navy, Macy’s Sears, HomeGoods, and At Home. Divaris has completed recent transactions with Kirkland’s for space in Newport News, Virginia Beach and Midlothian, Virginia. This is the second location for the retailer in the state capital region. DRE’s Brett McNamee and Ali Newton represented the tenant in the negotiations with the landlord, JRPI Chesterfield, LLC.

I Love Kickboxing leased 2,700 sq. ft. of space in the Divaris-leased Shops at Stonehenge located in Midlothian, Virginia. The Shops at Stonehenge retailers include: Q Barbecue; Dominoes; Vapor Connection; Sola Salon; CATO; Window Depot; Tops Asian Grill; and One Main Financial. McNamee represented the landlord, Melhi Richmond Properties, LLC, KPI Commercial, LLC, in the lease negotiations.

Little Caesars Pizza leased 2,500 sq. ft. of retail space in the Divaris-leased property located in Richmond, Virginia. John Madures of Divaris Real Estate represented the landlord, Woodfin Heating, Inc. in the lease negotiations with the fast food restaurant.

H&L Partners leased 1,561 sq. ft. of office space in American Cigar building located in Richmond, Virginia. H&L Partners is an advertising agency and marketing firm that opened its Richmond office to cater to its McDonald’s account. They also service other national, local and regional clients. McNameee represented the landlord, Forest City Enterprises.

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Taubman and Macerich complete purchase of Country Club Plaza

BY Melonie Messina

Kansas City — Taubman Centers and The Macerich Company announced a joint venture for Country Club Plaza location in Kansas City, Missouri from Highwoods Properties. The mixed-use retail and office property was purchased for $660 million cash, excluding transaction costs. Taubman and Macerich each own a 50% interest in the center.

Country Club Plaza was in 1922, an iconic, 15-block, 1.3 million sq. ft. mixed-use retail and office property located in the heart of Kansas City. The retail portion of the property includes 804,000 sq. ft. of GLA featuring 45 unique-to-market tenants, with key retailers such as Apple, H&M, Tesla and Lululemon, as well as a dynamic mix of restaurants, including The Capital Grille and The Cheesecake Factory. The 468,000 sq. ft. office portion of the property is comprised of the 10-story Valencia tower, which serves as the worldwide headquarters of Lockton Companies, and additional office space located above the ground-level retail.

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