Shopping Centers Today

MAR 2017

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

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12 S C T / M A R C H 2 0 1 7 M A R K E T I N G T H E C O M M O N A R E A Invest in stores, Simon urges tenants Luxury league and, I don't know — maybe Wall Street is right," he said. "But I think it is very easy to shop on the Internet. So if you don't have a good-looking physical store and good-looking service, quality service, and if you don't have inventory in the store and you're promoting more online than going to the store, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. So I would like a little bit more conviction in what they do." Too many leveraged buyouts with too much debt have occurred in the retail sector, he said, leaving many chains with overburdened balance sheets that cannot bear the stress typical of an ongoing retail operation. Simon pointed to entrepreneurs in the food-and-beverage tenants at his firm's properties as leading the way for other tenants to improve their businesses. n R etailers should spend more to drive store traffic, says Simon Chairman and CEO David Simon, who wants retailers to focus more on driving traffic to their stores than to their websites. "What we'd like to see from the retail community is a dedication back to improving the store environment," he said on a fourth-quarter earnings call. "We believe in our product, and we invest in our product." But many retailers are focusing their capital expenditures on online capabilities instead, rather than on store improvements, he noted. "If they're not keeping up with the O wners of 10 luxury shopping centers in nine of the top U.S. travel destinations have formed a marketing consortium to help draw international tourists to their properties. The USA Luxury Shopping Consortium, formed by five landlords, is teaming up with high-end travel agency Virtuoso. The agency arranges customized high-end travel consultation and booking in roughly 40 countries throughout North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, the Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Through the partnership, the USA Luxury Shopping Consortium will be marketing shopping centers by means of print and digital channels to hundreds of Virtuoso travel advisers and clients. In addition, the consortium will hold adviser- training webinars on the importance of including luxury shopping and sought-after culinary experiences in their clients' travel itineraries. "This partnership will provide our travel advisers with a new kind of experience to offer their clients in a variety of highly desirable U.S. destinations," said Angela Roditi, Virtuoso's vice president of alliances. "Virtuoso clients are passionate about enjoying shopping and dining experiences during their travels, and this new partnership with the USA Luxury Shopping Consortium will mean they're treated like VIPs, offering them valuable benefits at these centers." The shopping centers on the itinerary through the members of the consortium are Ala Moana Center, in Honolulu; Fashion Island, Newport Beach, Calif.; Fashion Show, and Grand Canal Shoppes, both in Las Vegas; River Oaks District, Houston; Santa Monica (Calif.) Place; Scottsdale (Ariz.) Fashion Square; The Shops Buckhead, Atlanta; The Shops at the Bravern, Bellevue, Wash.; and Tysons Corner Center, McLean, Va. n bargain, we'd love to get the space back and redevelop it." Retailers would be better served to devote funds to promotions that drive traffic to their stores, in part because physical sales have higher profit margins than online ones. "Between the promotions required to get them to buy online and the cost of shipping and the returns, it's not a great model for them," said Simon. The executive said retailers might have to buck Wall Street investors that pressure them to grow online sales at all costs. "It's contrary to what Wall Street wants, because they want Internet sales Top U.S. retail centers are working together to attract upscale tourists

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