Shopping Centers Today International

APR 2016

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

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T H E C O M M O N A R E A 10 S C T / A P R I L 2 0 1 6 Gift cards are an important driver of holiday sales, though the revenue goes unrecorded on a retailer's balance sheet until the card is redeemed. This is good news for stores and retailers in shopping centers, because some three-quarters of Americans will redeem their gift cards in a physical store, according to an ICSC survey of 1,018 respondents. Roughly two-thirds of Americans received gift cards during the holiday season. Distributed among the general population, this comes to $85.10 per person, but the average for those who actually did receive at least one card came to about $128.20 per person, ICSC reports. As consumers seek to redeem their gift cards, 58 percent of Millennials say they will redeem them at stores or other physical locations, such as theaters and restaurants, within shopping centers, followed by 52 percent of Gen-Xers and 46 percent of baby boomers. Of all age groups, Millennials are the most likely to purchase additional items when redeem- ing gift cards (64 percent). This includes spending on additional items in the same store where they redeem their gift card or pick up an online purchase in-store, and some even make pur- chases at other stores where they did not have gift cards to redeem. Additionally, 31 percent of Millennials quickly redeemed their gift cards, doing so by January 2016 versus only 23 percent of baby boomers. While all age groups received a gift card. Millennials come out on top, with 78 percent receiving at least one, compared to 65 percent of Gen-Xers and 59 percent of boomers. "It's interesting to see that consumers across generations still value the gift card and are eager to use it towards experi- ences offered at shopping centers," said Thomas McGee, president and CEO of ICSC. "Gift cards provide consumers with a practical and convenient way to shop across multiple retail channels. They afford recipients flexibility to spend money wherever, whenever they want important in today's age of convergence between the digital and physical worlds." Target gets visual To spruce up its stores, Target hired some 1,400 visual merchants to develop displays for the retailer's home, apparel and seasonal areas sales and inventory data. "Their job requires that they bal- ance art with science, and productivity with creativity," said Chairman and CEO Brian Cornell. "This team is re- sponsible for training their store team colleagues to understand the latest product trends, so the entire team can better assist our guests." Open up, say 'Ah' Dentists are not only popular shopping center tenants, they are increasingly becoming land- lords as well. In 2004, dentist Andre Bruni formed his own real estate firm — Baton Rouge, La.–based Cobalt Realty — and started acquiring offices and shopping centers throughout Alabama, Louisiana and Mis- sissippi. The firm recently purchased the Sherwood (La.) Winter in Oman It's snowing in the Middle East again. Oman's first snow park will open in a 5,400-square-meter space at Al Jarwani Group's Palm Mall Muscat in the third quarter of 2017. Netherlands-based Unlim- ited Snow will operate the park, which will resemble an Al- pine forest, com- plete with electric snowmobiles and an ice-skating rink. Gift cards keep on giving Saving on staff Unmanned stores are addressing consumers' growing desire for con- venience. A self-service convenience store in Viken, Sweden, al- lows shoppers to use a smartphone app to make purchases. The staff- free, 24-hour store was the brainchild of local resident Robert Ilijason, who wants to expand the concept throughout Eu- rope. The store stocks milk, bread, toilet paper and other essentials, but not commonly stolen items, such as tobacco or pharmaceu- ticals. Meanwhile a self-service vegetable kiosk in Sharjah lets customers pay using the honor system. The store (called "Vegetables Without a Seller") is a project of Salem Sultan Al Qayidi, who stocks the kiosk with discounted vegetables grown on his farms. 29% of 2015 gift cards pur- chased were for full-ser- vice restaurants, reports ICSC Research 70% of 2015 gift cards recipients will redeem cards at a physical store, reports ICSC Research

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