REAL ESTATE

Uniqlo to open first green store, in Northern California’s Great Mall

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Uniqlo will open a store at Great Mall in Milpitas, California, on Sept. 12. The store will be the first Uniqlo location to feature a 100% eco-friendly design, with LED lighting, greener materials and high-efficiency elements throughout.

The new Uniqlo also include specialty shopping vignettes that will create a store-within-a-store feel in the women and children’s departments. In-store display materials will also include updated digital screens.

Uniqlo’s arrival coincides with the recently-announced interior space reconfiguration of the mall’s center that will provide space for Uniqlo along with Guess Factory Store, an expanded Tommy Hilfiger Company and other retailers.

Great Mall is the largest outlet and value retail shopping destination in Northern California.

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MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Survey: Speed of delivery key to holiday shopping

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Almost nine-in-10 (88%) of consumers consider speed of delivery to be more important during the holiday season than at any other time of the year. According to the Holiday Fulfillment Report from CFI Group and EBay Enterprise that surveyed more than 500 consumers, 96% of respondents said guaranteed delivery dates are important when choosing which online retailer to purchase from.

Another 46% indicate late delivery will cause them to look elsewhere before making another purchase from the retailer. While promotions will encourage approximately one-third of consumers to make a future purchase after a late delivery, the damage done is enough to push 11% of shoppers to completely abandon the brand.

More than 40% said offering two-to-three-day shipping is the tipping point that encourages them to purchase. Also, 94% of shoppers who use in-store pickup of online purchases count unavailability as important when deciding which retailer they’ll shop.

With 57% of shoppers noting that customer service call center wait times are longer during the holiday season than at any other point in the year, providing other ways to have issues resolved is crucial. Interactive chat is a popular option, with consumers calling out speed (39%) and convenience (30%) as benefits. In addition, nearly half will try self-service options, when available, to resolve customer service issues.

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REAL ESTATE

Kimco Realty buys 10 shopping centers for $276 million

BY Dan Berthiaume

New Hyde Park, N.Y. – Kimco Realty Corp. has acquired a portfolio of 10 shopping centers from its joint venture with SEB Asset Management for $275.8 million, including $193.6 million of mortgage debt. Kimco, which previously held a 15% ownership interest in the properties, paid approximately $69.8 million for the remaining 85% equity interest held by SEB Asset Management, the group’s specialist real estate manager.

The 1.4 million-sq.-ft. portfolio is located in mature markets in the Mid-Atlantic region that have high barriers to entry and strong household income levels. The predominately grocery-anchored portfolio is 95.4% occupied and its anchors include Giant Food, Harris Teeter, Weis Markets, Safeway, and Food Lion, with Kroger and Sam’s Club as shadow anchors. The properties also feature national retailers including Ross Stores, Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshalls, Kohl’s, PetSmart, and Michaels, with Target and Lowes as shadow anchors.

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