Shopping Centers Today

JUL 2018

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

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J U L Y 2 0 1 8 / S C T 7 Against that backdrop, it is possible that limits on new construction in combination with the closures of weak stores can sustain pockets of emergent strength in the retail market. Retailers that have cut back on their portfo- lios, such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Best Buy, Children's Place and Gap, have begun realizing same-store sales growth for the first time in several years, noted Mulvee. And this, she said, proves that it need not take many closings for retailers and developers to go from weakness to strength. "Store closures are actually a really good thing for the economy," she said. Of course, trade-area strength still plays a critical role in retail real estate. Well-located malls that have lost a big department store have been able to re-lease 70 percent of that space within a year, versus a 20 percent re-leasing rate for malls in the weak- est locations. "We're seeing an end to this perfect storm," Mulvee said. "But it comes down to trade areas, and we'll see retail centers in the best [ones] continue to thrive, and those in the weakest proba- bly won't be retail uses anymore." n l Brick-and-mortar retailers that once saw Amazon.com as their greatest competition are now finding ways to profit off the e-commerce giant. Women's apparel retailer Chico's FAS says selling its apparel on Amazon's e-commerce platform is driving traffic to its brick-and-mortar stores. Chico's announced plans to sell its apparel and accessories on Amazon in April, and the company is already see- ing results, President and CEO Shelley Broader told CNBC. Amazon's Prime subscription service, which offers customers free two-day shipping and other perks, has grown to about 100 million users. Broader says the Amazon deal helps Chico's tap Prime subscribers for new sales. Chico's has the option to expand the number of products and brands it sells on the platform and to control market- ing, pricing and promotions. "Customers may have been intro- duced [to Chico's] through their Prime membership to Amazon, but they can also return that item [or] seek addition- al matching items in our boutiques," Broader said. Meanwhile, Sears Holdings Corp. announced a joint venture with Amazon that allows for tires purchased through the latter to be installed at Sears' U.S. auto shops. Sears CEO Edward S. Lampert says he anticipates that his company will acquire a new customer base through the venture. n A LITTLE HELP FROM AMAZON

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