MARKETING/SOCIAL MEDIA

Westfield Garden State Plaza brings digital technology to physical world

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Westfield Garden State Plaza, in Paramus, N.J., is merging the digital experience with the physical one. The shopping center has installed a series of 7-ft. tall, ultra-high definition touch-screen displays, called “digital storefronts,” in its just-opened, two-floor Fashion District wing, which adds 22 new stores and restaurants to the mall. To see photos of the screens, click here.

The interactive displays, a new initiative from Westfield Group’s Westfield Labs division, provide high-quality, larger-than-life visual images of new products offered by retailers at the center. The low profile dual-sided interactive displays feature a high-resolution LCD with capacitive touch technology concealed within. The contiguous mirrored surface makes the technology transparent while reflecting architectural and design elements in the surrounding environment.

With a swipe of a finger, shoppers can browse and rotate through the curated product collections on the displays, zooming in on the details and even getting a 360-degree view. If requested, the screen can also display a map that shows exactly where a particular product is located in the mall.

Among the participating retailers are Nordstrom, Michael Kors, Ann Taylor, Sandro, Vince Camuto, Microsoft, Bose and more.

Westfield first piloted digital storefronts last November, during the 2013 holiday season, at San Francisco Centre. The storefronts were a partnership between Westfield Labs and eBay Inc.

“At Westfield Labs, we want to define what the future of retail will look like through social, mobile and digital innovations,” Kevin McKenzie, global chief digital officer, Westfield Group, said when the San Francisco pilot was announced last November. “For our first pilot, we are excited to partner with eBay Inc. and brands that are pushing the boundaries of online and offline retail to showcase new technology that redefines shopping. This is just a window into the types of technologies Westfield Labs will be launching in our international markets to provide people with memorable shopping experiences.”

In the San Francisco Centre application, there were three screens, with one devoted to Sony, another to Toms, and another to Rebecca Minkoff. Shoppers just had to touch the glass to begin shopping. After selecting items, they were able to proceed to checkout by pushing the order to their mobile phone and pay with PayPal, including guest checkout with credit or debit card.

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miguelclemente2014 says:
Apr-10-2014 01:50 am

If requested, the screen can
If requested, the screen can also display a map that shows exactly where a particular product is located in the mall. - Dr. Hicham Riba

miguelclemente2014 says:
Apr-10-2014 01:50 am

If requested, the screen can also display a map that shows exactly where a particular product is located in the mall. - Dr. Hicham Riba

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FINANCE

Euclid: March retail performance lags year-over-year

BY Dan Berthiaume

Santa Barbara, Calif. – Shopper activity rebounded in March 2014 from the prior month, but traffic and engagement lagged compared to March 2013. In-store retail analytics provider Euclid, released its monthly retail benchmarks report to analyze shopper activity and behavior during the month of March, measuring data from tens of millions of domestic shopping sessions.

Based on the findings, Euclid asserts that these metrics illustrate a weak outlook for industry revenues, estimating general merchandise, apparel, furniture and other (GAFO) retail sales grew by 0.2% year-over-year. Overall, shopper traffic and repeat visits remained below the prior year’s levels as bad weather remained a challenge for much of the country. In addition, in-store engagement was weaker than last year as a result of Easter falling deeper into April.

Here are some of Euclid’s top findings in its March 2014 report around shopper behavior metrics:

• Shopper traffic declined 1% compared to the same month last year, as visits were negatively impacted by continued cold weather on the East Coast, although this headwind was slightly mitigated by bouts of warmer than usual weather on the West Coast and an acceleration of tax refunds in March.

• Storefront conversion was up 1% as a result of improved weather, an increase in disposable income, and the continuation of a heavily promotional environment.

• Average duration decreased 3% from 2014 as the late Easter caused many shoppers to have less intent to browse heavily during their store visits in March.

• Repeat visits increased 1% from February, bouncing back after the prior month’s dip as a result of pent-up demand carrying extra visits over into March.

The best day of the month was Wednesday, March 5, with some of March’s best customer engagement performance as well as a strong storefront conversion. This day also attracted the highest percentage of valuable repeat shoppers during the month. The worst day of the month was March 13, which saw underperformance across all metrics, but most notably traffic and average duration.

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REAL ESTATE

PGA Tour Superstores targets 50 locations by 2018

BY Marianne Wilson

Atlanta — PGA Tour Superstores announced three new store openings in 2014 and an ambitious growth strategy that will more than double its current retail footprint, adding one million square feet of new golf retail space over the next five years.

As part of its growth plan, the mega-golf retailer will open new interactive retail experience stores this fall in Orlando, Florida; North Scottsdale, Arizona; and Southlake, Texas.

"Despite a flat retail landscape in the golf industry, we have growth plans that prove experiential retail is alive and well," said PGA Tour Superstore president and CEO Dick Sullivan. "We currently have plans to grow PGA Tour Superstore’s presence by up to 25% per year over the next five years in locations across the U.S.”

The company currently has 19 retail stores ranging from 40,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. per store. Each store has up to 14 custom fitting simulators and practice bays in every location. The retailer plans to have up to 50 locations by 2018.

"When it snows in Chicago or New York, golfers can come into our stores, work on their game and see their ball flight on our launch monitors,” Sullivan said.” And they can putt on our 2,000-sq.-ft. putting greens. This experiential format works, and we’re excited to roll it out to many more markets over the next several years."

Each store features certified golf pros, personalized golf lessons and the best in golf technology, equipment, apparel, custom fitting and repairs. The stores are owned and operated by Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, Inc., whose controlling owner and chairman is Arthur M. Blank, retired Home Depot co-founder and owner of the Atlanta Falcons.

"We couldn’t have picked three better markets to expand in this year," added Sullivan. "Orlando is a new market for us and builds on our presence in Florida, while Southlake and North Scottsdale allow us to add stores into two existing markets."

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