Shopping Centers Today

DEC 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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Page 25 of 143

26 S C T / D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 Everyone has a smartphone these days, driving rivals to fight fiercely for market share By Beth Mattson-Teig Can you hear them now? C ellphone service carriers continue battling for market share, and one battleground involves their networks of physical stores. Dominating the industry are the Big Four wireless phone services providers: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. All four have been on an aggressive growth track in recent years as they look to plant corporate and certified-dealer stores directly in the paths of their customers. Even amid signs of a slowdown, the sector retains a hankering to keep growing. Cellphone companies have already built a substantial base of stores across the U.S. Counting only the top 10 companies offering phone services and/or products, the store count now exceeds 13,000 in the U.S. alone. The bulk of those are certified-dealer stores run by independent licensees that may operate in spaces as small as 600 square feet or as large as ten times that. "A lot of expansion has already taken place, but there are a lot of retail trade areas that may not be saturated," said Barry Fishbach, a vice chairman at New York City–based brokerage firm RKF. Current saturation levels and the growth opportunities this represents are really a market- by-market and street-by-street proposition, Fishbach says. The Big Four are also opening flagship "experience" stores in such high-profile locations as Chicago's Michigan Avenue and New York City's Times Square. These stores are large, in some cases upwards of 9,000 square feet. And they are >> RE TAILERS LOVE LONDON 32 A HIGH-TECH HAIRCUT AT GRE AT CLIPS 34 BOHO NATION COURTS HAUTE HIPPIES 38 DICK'S WINS SPORTING- GOODS PL AYOFFS 44 SWEE T GREEN'S SUSTAINABLE E ATS 54 TE A TIME FOR ECO SHOPPERS 62 S T O R E F R O N T S W H AT T H E T E N A N T S A R E U P TO

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