Shopping Centers Today

JUL 2019

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

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32 S C T / J U L Y 2 0 1 9 vide an online marketplace that is connected in real time to the actual shop stock at the Village." Along similar lines, Simon this past March announced plans for Shop Premium Outlets, an e-commerce platform designed to ramp up traffic and sales both online and at its Premium Outlets centers. At press time a beta test for loyalty-program members offered access to outlet discounts from nearly 2,000 product brands, according to Chidi Achara, Simon's chief creative officer. "We have over 200 retailers in our centers and aim to integrate all of them into our platform," he said. As outlet owners grapple with the realities of online shopping and ever-intensifying competition, such initia- tives represent smart positioning for the future, experts say. "Outlets are farther from the eye of the storm — that storm being online shopping and," said consultant Jan Rogers Kniffen, CEO of Greenwich, Conn.–based J Rogers Kniffen World Wide Enterprises. "They are younger and have faced fewer challenges than the regional and super-regional malls. They also have the advantage of not being overbuilt." But e-commerce will continue to exert pressure on them as it grows, he says. In fact, they're already feeling some pressure. They don't have the same growth rate as before." These moves on the part of retail landlords could also be seen as opportunistic rather than defensive. Steve Ferris, a vice chairman at JLL and co-leader of the firm's national retail tenant services practice, sees good reason for Simon to leverage its Premium Outlets brand online. "From an outlet standpoint, Simon owns about a third of ver since the May 2018 opening of The Village, in Villefontaine, France, some 3 million people — ski enthusiasts bound for Alpine resorts, and locals from across the Auvergne-Rhône- Alpes region — have visited that 100-brand outlet mall to shop the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren. Unlike most outlets, though, this one, by Compagnie de Phalsbourg and Freeport Retail, offers an additional way to shop: "We claim to be the first digital outlet in the world," said Mathieu Boncour, director of institutional relations at Paris-based Compagnie de Phalsbourg. "We have worked with our brands to pro- Crossing Channels OUTLET LANDLORDS FORGE AHEAD WITH E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS BY JOEL GROOVER

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