Westfield’s Lowy says malls and tech must work together

High-needs customers expect superlative service, and that’s why malls must turn to the latest digital technologies to keep customers coming back, according to the co-CEO of one of the nation’s largest mall owners.

"Consumers today expect to be very, very well serviced — with technology," Westfield’s Steven Lowy told CNBC. "They wake up every day with that expectation, and it's essential that the retailing industry really adapts and evolves ... so it can compete better."

Lowy will head up OneMarket — a tech incubator formerly known as Westfield Lab — that will operate as an independent unit selling its services to other operators and retailers.

Shopping center operators’ need for customer data is dire, said Lowy.

“Physical [retail] companies have no idea what the customer is doing before they make a purchase," he said.

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