Real Estate Journal — Shopping Centers — November 25 - December 8, 2016 — 11C


M id A tlantic

S hopping C enters

O R T H P L A I N - FIELD, NJ — A posi- tive seasonal outlook, Firm’s annual pre-holiday survey also reveals digital marketing momentum Levin Management retail tenants report positive seasonal outlook, robust hiring plans N LMC tenants expect their customers to shop early this year. A full 24% of survey fore Christmas (16.2%). Only 5.9% expect their peak sales to fall between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.

will incorporate the same or a higher amount of tech-centered marketing this holiday season. “This is smart planning,” noted Melissa Sievwright , LMC’s vice president of mar- keting. “Deloitte forecasts that digital interactions – consum- ers’ use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, and desktop and laptop comput- ers – will influence 67% of brick-and-mortar sales during the 2016 holiday season. In turn, our tenants recognize the importance of reaching their customers via digital platforms – both prior to and during store visits.” n

in our 2016 poll is noteworthy. It will be interesting to look back and trace whether fac- tors such as the unseasonably warm fall, the presidential election and other variables impact when 2016 holiday shopping actually peaks.” The survey also revealed that technology-centered marketing remains an ongoing priority for LMC survey respondents. The Pre-Holiday survey asked those whose companies are embrac- ing mobile apps, social media, email, texting and other plat- forms to compare their amount of digital marketing year over year. A full 94% reported they

participants an t i c i p a t e their sales will peak pri- or to Thanks- giving. An- other 23.5% predict peak sales during the Thanks-

robust hir- i n g p l a n s and contin- ued digital ma r k e t i ng momentum p u n c t u a t e the findings o f L e v i n M a n a g e -

“The percentage of our sur- vey participants who antici- pate peak sales before Thanks- giving is approximately double the percentage from the prior two years,” Harding said. “It is true everything seems to be starting earlier, with the promotions traditionally as- sociated with Black Friday beginning in earnest by early November. This trend has been building over the past couple of years, however the significant increase indicated

Matthew Harding

Melissa Sievwright

giving/Black Friday weekend. The balance of respondents’ expectations for peak sales are spread among early Decem- ber (12.3%), mid-December (18.1%) and the weekend be-

ment Corporation’s (LMC’s) 2016 Pre-Holiday Retail Senti- ment Survey. The commercial real estate services firm’s an- nual fall poll of retailers within its 95-property, 13 million-s/f portfolio explores year-to-date performance and expectations for the critical holiday shop- ping season. An impressive 83.2% of LMC survey respondents expect their holiday sales to be at the same or a higher level than last year. A full 45% said they plan to add seasonal staff – well above the average 29.8% reporting seasonal hiring in LMC’s prior five Pre-Holiday polls (2011-2015). According to LMC president Matthew Harding , this en- thusiasm likely stems from healthy year-to-date perfor- mance. In fact, 64.3% of survey participants reported year-to- date sales at the same or higher volume than at this time in 2015 – compared to the 2011- 2015 polling average of 57.9%. “Additionally, 66.7% of re- spondents reported shopper traffic at the same or an in- creased level year to date,” Harding said. “This is the highest percentage since we began asking our tenants about traffic in 2012. This is a strong indicator that our retailers are not only surviv- ing but thriving as they adopt technology to drive customer traffic and boost sales.” LMC tenants are not alone in their holiday season out- look. The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects sales in November and De- cember (excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales) to reach $655.8 billion – an increase of 3.6% over 2015. This com- pares to a 10-year average of 2.5%. Similar studies by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) , Kantar Retail and Deloitte project holiday sales to increase by 3.3, 3.8 and 3.6-4.0 percent, respectively. Further, ICSC re- ports 91% of consumers plan to holiday shop at physical stores.

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