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Entries in Retail Centers (20)


Place Making vs. Place Marking 

Houston CITYCENTRE. Image source: MidwayCompanies.com

When someone mentions the year 2008, what do you think of? Economic melt-down? Job loss? Corporate crisis? With a few years in between to have softened our memories at least slightly, now it’s almost incredible to reflect on what we went through. There are varying opinions about whether we’ll ever get back to our pre-2008 patterns of consumption, but I tend to take sides with those who think we’re changed forever. As consumers, our expectations are higher; our priorities are different; our awareness of brands – and brand behaviors – is greater; and we have more choices, not to mention more control over the choices we make. There was so much talk during the Great Recession about conscious consumption and how much more careful consumers were with their expenditures. Everyone I know was comparing notes about paying down their credit card debt. I don’t see that this has changed.

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Retail Centers: Connect or Crumble 

Image source: theboutique411.com

Anyone who knows me will attest that I’m an optimist. In fact I’m genuinely excited by many things happening in today’s retail real estate market. Technology, sustainability, a renewed emphasis on experience – each of these contributes to an exciting future for the retail industry. But I’m a realist too, and another big scary trend is hard to ignore: retail developers have to figure out how to connect with their customers in every way possible, or they won’t survive. This mirrors the very same thing that their tenants are grappling with only they have it even harder. Today’s successful retailers have to engage their customers both online and in-store, and it is not at all easy to do both well.

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Hug Your Customers, Embrace Your Data and Have Fun: A Gensler Interview with Jack Mitchell 

As CEO of the Mitchells Family of Stores, which is one of the country’s most respected upper end clothing store chains, Jack Mitchell and members of his third generation family--nine of his family members are actively working at the company--have created a unique business philosophy in which top-tier customer service and strong relationships with your employees are valued above all else. That may seem a bit clichéd at first, but it has helped the Mitchells build a business in which 70 percent of the transactions are conducted at regular price as opposed to at a discount.

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Winning Relationships

Earlier this month a project that’s near and dear to my heart received one of the retail industry’s highest honors: Westfield Galleria at Roseville earned gold at ICSC’s U.S. Design and Development Awards.

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The Aesthetics of Social Responsibility

Our retail practice has been buzzing about this New York Times article for several weeks now. Aptly titled “But Will It Make You Happy?” its author describes the shift in consumer priorities away from material possessions and toward more fulfilling experiences that create memories rather than superficial status.

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