Shopping Centers Today

AUG 2018

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

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The site happened to hold personal meaning for King. "I grew up playing soccer on the property, which used to be a large recreation area for employees of Lockheed Martin and their families," she said. This history helped shape the public art that Trademark commissioned for Waterside by local artists, among them Bob (Daddy-O) Wade, who is famous for creating The World's Largest Cowboy Boots, in San Antonio, and a 40-foot iguana sculpture at the Fort Worth Zoo. To create distinctive pieces for Waterside, the Texas artist reused old playground equipment, carousel horses and other pieces that had been on the property for decades, King says. "He turned an old swing set into a cowboy and a lasso, with three donkeys in front of it called The Three Amigos," King said. "There's a totem-pole-like structure with an airplane on top and a tugboat at the base, and then he put 16 carousel horses up on poles for this piece called Horse Field." According to King, the context-appropriate use of public art is in-line with the goal of pursuing innovation, not least because that dovetails so well with shopper use of Instagram and other visually oriented social media. "People always have their cellphones in their hands and are always taking pictures," she said. "At Waterside we've created a backdrop for that." The outsized role of social media today is also part of Ivanhoé Cambridge's thinking as it pursues innovative tenant mixes at its malls in Canada and around the globe, says Tracy Smith, who became senior vice president of marketing and innovation for the Ivanhoé Cambridge retail group last year. This past June the Montréal-based develop- ment firm announced a leap forward on the entertainment front, in particular: a joint venture with global theatrical producer Cirque du Soleil. "That's a great example of inno- vation at work at Ivanhoé Cambridge," Smith said. Naturally, the developer's marketing teams will use so- cial media to promote Cirque du Soleil's family-entertain- ment concept, dubbed Creactive, which opens at Toronto's Vaughan Mills in September 2019. But the 24,000-square- foot indoor space, which will feature dancing, juggling, mask-designing, bungee-jumping, obstacle courses, tram- polines, trapezes and a circus track, will also offer visitors plenty of motivation to create their own posts on Insta- gram, Facebook or Twitter. "Our visitors are happy to help us generate content," Smith said. "Our job is to capitalize on that by giving them an engaging experience that makes them eager to get out the good word." Ivanhoé Cambridge is now in talks to bring Creactive to other properties in Canada and abroad, according to the announcement. CBL, for its part, also seeks to bring innovation to its tenant lineups, according to Ward, who has been meeting with prospects not typically associated with retail proper- ties. "Cultivating those new concepts is part of my role," he said. "Right now, for example, we're developing a partner- ship with a co-working [concept] owner who has three locations in downtown Chattanooga." Many of the markets in which CBL op- erates are ripe for such a concept, Ward says, because they offer strong growth and high demand for co-working, and yet such national names as WeWork have yet to enter those markets. "This co-working initiative is also one that could dovetail well with our redevelopment projects," he said. To meet the growing demand for data among retailers, mean- while, landlords and brokers are relying on a wide range of tech vendors and tools for collecting, analyzing, synthesizing and packaging shopper and property data in new ways. Those methods, innovators say, can include gathering data when shoppers walk around the mall carrying their smartphones (the devices continuously broadcast anon- ymous signals that can be tracked) or when visitors use location-based mobile apps or otherwise opt in to various coupons, Wi-Fi networks or promo text messages. The ability to leverage this data can be a big plus for leasing teams, Smith says. "Increasingly, retailers are now looking for that transpar- ency — that proof of value — from the property owner," Smith said. "One could argue that providing them simply with traffic numbers is not enough anymore. Now we're able to give them a better understanding." Some retailers are open to sharing their data with landlords as well by joining pilot programs and partnerships, he notes. "It's an area where innovation is very much top of mind. Every- body is prototyping more, piloting more and trying to iterate more rapidly to see what works." Ward, for his part, is in discussions with about 25 online retailers interested in opening stores in CBL's portfolio. Data-sharing tends to be a big part of those conversations. "With those digitally native retailers, we're very focused on providing more data related to attribution where they want to know the effects of opening a physical store on their online presence and sales," Ward said. Historically, most retailers lacked in-depth data about how shoppers moved around the mall or inside their stores, but now new technologies are closing this gap. "For the first time, they can see true sales conversions, from the common area to their stores," said Ward. "It gives us the ability to work with them on the optimal setup. Where are the consumers spending the most time? Is the staffing correct based on what you're seeing inside the store?" In spearheading innovation for Shopping Center Group, 34 S C T / A U G U S T 2 0 1 8 JIM WARD, VICE PRESIDENT OF INNOVATION AND NEW BUSINESS VENTURES AT CBL PROPERTIES

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