Shopping Centers Today

MAR 2017

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

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46 S C T / M A R C H 2 0 1 7 the economic appeal of its Gainesville, Fla., hometown. The firm owns three adjacent projects in that market, which are to total some 2 million square feet of retail space once a town center is fully developed within the next few years. "With broadband technology improving every year, website developers must create more multimedia-rich, interactive websites that push content to the visitor," said Deborah Butler, the company's president. "Visitors also expect it to load fast. If something is running slow, they will just go somewhere else." RPAI and InvenTrust, both of which are based in Oak Brook, Ill., expanded their use of high-resolution images, although they took different approaches. InvenTrust features images of its employees along with anecdotes describing their experiences working for the company. The subjects change quarterly and will include the reflections of tenant experiences, too, says Lisa Alexander, the firm's director of marketing. "That's distinctive about our website," she said. "Instead of posting property images on our home page, like most shopping center owners and operators, we have stories about our company." RPAI, on the other hand, updated images of properties and tenant spaces in its target markets in an effort to convey the character and feel of its shopping centers and tenants, says Tim O'Connell, the firm's director of digital marketing and communications. "I think website design trends right now place a heavy emphasis on photography with a minimalist look," he said. "We worked with a lot of our retailers to capture great interiors and exteriors, and those images are present throughout the website." In most cases, shopping center owners consider their websites business-to-business platforms, with brokers and potential or existing tenants as their primary audience (and investors too, in the case of public companies) and media

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