Shopping Centers Today International

NOV 2015

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

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about the brand," he said. "People can hold, touch, feel and smell the products, and they can ask brand ambassadors or employees about the brand and how it works. After that, consumers can go back to their computers and make an edu- cated purchase." Birchbox, Bonobos and Trunk Club put a priority on using real estate to reach Millennial-age shoppers. This can give landlords with Millennial-friendly mixed-use properties a competitive advantage, says Grant Gary, president of bro- kerage services at the Fort Worth, Texas–based Woodmont Co. "Mil- lennials want different things," said Gary, "so the focus becomes much more on the entertainment compo- nent of a project, the availability of green space and the walkability fac- tor." On July 16, Bonobos opened a 950-square-foot Guideshop at North American Properties' Ava- lon, an 86-acre mixed-use project in Alpharetta, Ga. Bonobos also operates a Guideshop in the 9-acre Buckhead Atlanta mixed-use proj- ect. Customers use these locations to meet with fashion experts, or- der what they want and have the clothes delivered free of charge. For some e-tailers, then, brick- and-mortar real estate functions more like a showroom than a traditional store. Without the need to warehouse inventory on-site, they can get by with small spaces stocked only with what they want customers to see, touch and feel. Alternately, they can operate smaller- footprint stores with limited inventory and then steer consumers to the web for anything not available in-store. But e- tailers do not always go small: Athleta's stores range from 3,500 to 4,500 square feet, even though the web plays a large role in the way the stores function, says Dave Cheatham, president of Phoenix- based Velocity Retail Group, a member of X Team International. "Athleta is ex- cellent at using them as a virtual stock- room," he said. "If they don't have what you want in the color you want, you can walk over to a touch screen, pick that color, and the product will be shipped to you within a couple of days." US-Mattress, too, strives to make sure its stores are fully integrated with the web, says Nashif. Nevertheless, as it opens 3,000-to-4,000-square-foot stores in Detroit-area strip centers, US-Mat- tress aims to grow its business by reach- ing people who are less comfortable buy- ing mattresses online, he says. "We're looking at how we can grow," Nashif said. "We could keep spending more money on Google and online advertis- ing to try to get diminishing returns in the online market. But another option is to take advantage of that market that we are not reaching." Warby Parker's rollout strategy clearly involves tapping into new cus- tomers who want to try on glasses be- fore buying them, says Jason Baker, co- founder of Houston-based brokerage firm Baker Katz. "Glasses and frames are about as personal as it gets," he said. As landlords pitch vacant space to on- line tenants, then, they might have bet- ter odds focusing on e-tailers that sell things people generally like to touch and feel before buying. "Supplements, 42 S C T / N o v e m b e r 2 0 1 5 B o n o B o s G u i d e s h o p a t a v a l o n , i n a l p h a r e t t a , G a .

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