4C — November 24 - December 7, 2017 — Shopping Centers — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal


S hopping C enters

Bricks-and-mortar focuses on engaging consumers in a digital world Levin Pre-Holiday Survey shows positive seasonal outlook for retail


Survey, which also reflects an ongoing commitment by bricks- and-mortar retail to capital-

LMC’s mid-year 2017 survey and is 2.8% higher than the trailing five-year average in LMC’s pre-holiday surveys. “From a ground-level per- spective, 2017 has been a posi- tive year for retailers within the LMC portfolio, and the survey findings support our observations,” said Matthew Harding , president. “Busy shopping center parking lots and more than two dozen new store openings testify that the economy is strengthening, and consumer confidence is rising. In fact, The Conference Board reported that in October con- sumer confidence registered

at its highest level in nearly 17 years. “It comes as no surprise, then, that more than three- quarters – 76.9% – of our survey participants expect sales to be the same or better than last year’s holiday shop- ping season,” said Harding, adding 41.7% of respondents plan to add seasonal staff. “This optimism is reinforced by projections from our industry’s largest trade organizations.” For example, the National Retail Federation anticipates 2017 holiday retail sales to in- crease between 3.6 and 4.0%, a forecast that would meet or ex-

ceed last year’s growth of 3.6%. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) predict a 3.8% year-over-year growth in retail holiday sales, with 46.0% of shoppers indicat- ing they will spend more this holiday season. Further, the ICSC study shows 91.0% plan to shop at bricks-and-mortar stores. Nearly half (48.7%) of LMC survey respondents expect their holiday sales to peak before and during the Thanksgiving/Black Friday weekend. “Our retailers anticipate consumers will shop early again this year,” Harding said. “Interestingly, this is the first time in five years there are four pre-Christmas Saturdays in December, which expands the season and provides an op- portunity for additional sales. We look forward to seeing if this changes the dynamics. Analyt- ics firm Shoppertrak expects Saturday, Dec. 23, to be the second-busiest shopping day, after Black Friday.” Engaging Customers in a Digital World The LMC Pre-Holiday Sur- vey results emphasize retail- ers’ efforts to engage customers and enhance their in-store experiences during the 2017 holiday season. Continuing an established trend, technology- centered marketing is playing a key role as bricks-and-mortar stores work to compete in an increasingly digital world. More than half (52.3%) of respondents who use tech- centered marketing tools re- port their efforts have boosted holiday sales in prior years. To that end, 96.2% of those respondents will employ the same amount or more technol- ogy-centered marketing for the 2017 holiday season. Email remains the favorite avenue for reaching custom- ers outside the store, used by 80.2% of survey respondents who employ tech-marketing tools, with social media/social marketing coming in second at 73.7%. Other notable cat- egories include text messaging (32.4%), and banner or other internet advertising (29.8%). “There is no doubt today’s con- sumers are influenced by infor- mation they receive digitally,” noted Melissa Sievwright , LMC’s vice president of mar- keting. “In fact, some of the latest research is turning out incredible numbers. ICSC’s Holiday Shopping Intentions continued on page 5C

O R T H P L A I N - FIELD, NJ — Retail- ers in LevinManage-

ize on today’s digital world. F o r t h e majority of LMC survey participants, year-to-date s a l e s a n d shopper traf- fic have been

ment Cor- poration’s ( L M C ’ s ) 1 0 0 - p r o p - erty, 14-mil- lion s/f shop- ping center portfolio are anticipating a strong holi-

MatthewHarding Melissa Sievwright

similar to or better than last year at this time. Notably, the%age reporting same-or- higher sales (62.4%) through late October jumped near- ly 6.0% from the findings in

day season following what has been a generally positive year to date. The commercial real estate services firm today re- leased the results of its annual Pre-Holiday Retail Sentiment

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