REAL ESTATE

Time Warner Center debuts luxury pop-ups

BY Al Urbanski

It houses one of the nation’s premier jazz performance centers, as well as Michelin-star restaurants, so New York’s Time Warner Center couldn’t have any old pop-up shops lining walkways with spectacular views of Central Park South.

The Related Companies property has introduced LMUs — luxury merchandising units — to The Shops at Columbus Circle in Time Warner Center. Conceived by the UXUS design shop in Amsterdam, LMUs are “the first line of sophisticated retail pop-ups” for retail centers, according to a Time Warner Center release.

The permanent retail modules are conceived to entice customers to walk through them and inspect merchandise without breaking stride, stated UXUS. Tenants may choose to have LMUs constructed from high-grade materials ranging from warm woods to highly polished steel.

Moleskine, La Maison du Chocolat, and Sugarfina will inhabiting the first wave of LMUs. Brands that have used pop-ups at Time Warner in the past include Hermes, Johnnie Walker Blue, and Tesla.

Related Companies is also the developer of the huge Hudson Yards multi-use project taking shape south of Penn Station in Manhattan.


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FINANCE

Bass Pro Shops to acquire rival in $5.5 billion deal

BY Marianne Wilson

Bass Pro Shops has agreed to acquire Cabela’s in a deal that will allow the privately held Bass Pro to nearly double its store count.

Bass Pro plans to purchase Cabela’s for about $65.50 a share in cash, which represents a 19% premium over Friday’s closing price. The agreement will create an outdoor retail powerhouse that specializes in fishing, hunting and boating merchandise. Both companies are known for their elaborate, wilderness-themed store interiors.

Cabela's has been under pressure from activist hedge fund Elliott Associates, which has an 11.1% stake in the company, to pursue strategic alternatives. The retailer operates 85 stores, primarily in the western U.S. and Canada.

Bass Pro operates 99 stores, located primarily in the eastern part of the U.S. and Canada. CEO Johnny Morris will continue as chief executive and majority shareholder of the combined company, which will be privately held.

“Today’s announcement marks an exceptional opportunity to bring together three special companies with an abiding love for the outdoors and a passion for serving sportsmen and sportswomen,” said Morris. “The story of each of these companies could only have happened in America, made possible by our uniquely American free enterprise system.”

In a statement, Bass Pro said it intends to celebrate and grow the Cabela’s brand. It also said it plans to continue to maintain important bases of operations in Cabela’s current home state of Nebraska, specifically in the towns of Sidney and Lincoln.

"Cabela’s is pleased to have found the ideal partner in Bass Pro Shops," said Tommy Millner, CEO, Cabela’s. "Having undertaken a thorough strategic review, during which we assessed a wide variety of options to maximize value, the Board unanimously concluded that this combination with Bass Pro Shops is the best path forward for Cabela’s, its shareholders, outfitters and customers.”

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TECHNOLOGY

Aldo creates single view of omnichannel shoppers

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

As consumers connect with their favorite brands, they expect a consistent shopping experience.

With the help of Salesforce.com, The Aldo Group consolidated shopper data across its enterprise so it can create a singular shopping experience. By adding a cloud-based platform, Aldo gained 360-degree views of each shopper, a move that provides better insight into their preferences and allows the chain to engage with consumers more effectively.

The shoe retailer also added Salesforce’s marketing cloud module to better predict shopper needs, and build one-to-one shopper journeys in real-time, including delivering customized emails and social engagement. Overall, the platform enabled Aldo to reduce the number of emails it sends by 40%, while increasing email revenue by 70% within 12 months.

"Today, the future belongs to the consumer,” said Patrik Frisk, CEO, The Aldo Group. “The challenge for any retailer or brand that wants to sell direct-to-consumer isn't just knowing how to keep up with them, but also understanding where they'll go next.”

This becomes increasingly difficult as 82% of consumers begin their journeys online, and the majority of those consumers end their journeys in a physical store, according to the “2015 Connected Shopper Report” from Salesforce.

This “hub” keeps Aldo connected throughout this journey.

“The solution enables us to take the information we have about the 200 million customers that walk through our stores each year and provide one-to-one journeys — no matter what the media or communication platform,” said Frisk.

This includes the contact center, as The Aldo Group’s customer service agents now have the means to quickly access shopper data, find answers and respond to questions faster. Data also enables them to provide personalized service via phone, chat, email and social media, across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. As a result, the company has seen faster case resolutions, and an overall reduction in average handle time, according to a customer statement.

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