Big Real Estate Moves in the Big Apple: Amy Zhen Joins JLL to Expand Retail Capabilities


JLL continued the expansion of its retail platform in New York City with the addition of Amy Zhen. Zhen will serve as a Senior Vice President working on the team lead by Vice Chairman Bob Gibson, who joined JLL earlier this year Zhen Amy_Headshotto lead the firm’s New York retail brokerage practice. In her new role, Zhen is tasked with developing and executing leasing strategies to maximize the full potential for the firm’s retail investor and owner clients’ assets. She brings with her an unparalleled roster of institutional investor clients, and strong retailer relationships at the national, regional and local level.

New York is a target market for our retail investor clients and it’s critical to have a skilled expert, like Amy, on the ground to support their investment goals and leasing needs. Amy’s expertise on the landlord side will complement our established tenant representation capabilities in the market, and we’ll partner together to boost our ability to service clients. – Bob Gibson

Zhen began her career at a global commercial real estate firm as the Director of Retail Brokerage, where she specialized in agency leasing. During her time there, Zhen repositioned several urban assets and negotiated and executed flagship storefront leases for national retailers. Zhen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, and is an active member of the Real Estate Brokers of New York (REBNY) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).


Cooper & Caldwell Named 2014 Power Brokers by Chain Store Age

MC&KCphoto 1

For the first time in eight decades of publishing, Chain Store Age has compiled a list of the nation’s top retail real estate brokers, ranking them based on number of retail transactions in 2013, dollar amount of those transactions and, just as importantly, reputation in the industry. From hundreds of nominations collected from retailers and brokerage houses earlier in the summer,  Chain Store Age has selected 15  “power brokers” including  JLL’s Kris Cooper and Margaret Caldwell!

According to Chain Store Age, mall movers Cooper and Caldwell are the retail industry’s power team. Together they have a combined 50 years of retail investment experience and closed nearly $1.13 billion in 2013, ranking second nationally for mall sales last year. They have a stout roster of REITs, private equity and institutional clients who look to them when selling a single asset or large portfolio. They are true team players who are coaching and mentoring the next generation of retail all-stars. Their team of seven, including four women, says they provide excellent and thoughtful advice on all fronts, and continually push them to develop their individual talents.

What makes the pair a good brokerage team? “Our success is built upon a great team of people, all committed to delivering top-notch results for our clients, who will always be our first priority. In this business, we never take anything for granted.”

 See the full list of Chain Store Age Power Brokers 

New Partnership Brings Media Advertising to JLL-Managed Malls


IMGn an effort to generate additional revenue opportunities for its retail investor clients, JLL Retail today announced a new partnership with McGavren Guild Malls, LLC, to exclusively provide media representation services within the firm’s third-party-managed shopping centers. As part of this agreement, McGavren Guild Malls will represent national media opportunities, which include sponsorships, brand advertising, sampling and promotional events primarily within JLL-managed enclosed malls.

The partnership with McGavren Guild Malls affords JLL the ability to pursue and facilitate national advertising and brand sponsorships for the properties we manage, providing an additional revenue stream for our clients. As we continue to grow and expand our specialty leasing platform, we’ll continue to seek innovative ways to refresh the common areas of the property with new campaigns and create an optimal customer experience for our clients. - Tracey Hatley, Director of Specialty Leasing at JLL

McGavren Guild Malls provides retailers, brands and their media agencies an independent resource for buying and managing mall media programs throughout the country.


Lakeshore Mall Gains Retail Boost with New Management and Leasing Team

BV Belk Properties has retained JLL Retail to manage and lease Lakeshore Mall, a 490,000-square-foot retail center located in Sebring, Florida. Lakeshore Mall was built in 1992, and is the only enclosed regional mall within 40 miles of Sebring.

LakeShore Mall“I see nothing but a good future for Lakeshore Mall, and I am thrilled at the opportunity to take a steady center and make it extraordinary for locals and passer-byes with the support of JLL,” said B.V. Belk Jr., Owner of BV Belk Properties. “We’re committed to serving the community’s shopping needs, and during the next year we’ll be taking proactive measures to upgrade the property making it a gathering place for the community.”

Florida Retail Market Lead John Lambert and Vice Presidents Chris Ralph and Heather Levesque are leading the JLL management and marketing teams, and Andrew Dieringer is tasked with leasing the asset.

JLL’s Managing Directors Kris Cooper, Margaret Caldwell and Carson Good, sold the property to BV Belk Properties earlier this year. “BV Belk Properties’ purchase of Lakeshore Mall in May was perfectly timed with the Florida retail market’s upswing,” said Lambert. “The mall represents a strong value enhancement play and BV Belk’s ability to capitalize and act on that with a renovation and repositioning is expected to propel the property for renewed growth and strong yields.”

The center anchors the retail hub that serves central Florida along US Highway 27, a major north/south corridor between Orlando and Miami, where traffic counts average approximately 38,500 vehicles per day. Sebring is also home to the Sebring International Raceway, host of the “12 Hours of Sebring Endurance Race,” which is one of the automotive world’s oldest and most prestigious races drawing over 100,000 people annually.

Sunshine State’s Construction Comeback Driven by Malls and Shopping Center Development

While many tourists flock to America’s panhandle looking for sand and sunshine, Florida’s retail development market is doing the opposite: moving indoors. According to JLL research launched today at the International Council of Shopping Centers Florida Conference in Orlando, nearly half of all retail commercial construction happening in the state, in the first half of 2014 is taking place in malls and shopping centers.

“While most markets are seeing a boom in grocery-anchored power centers or strip centers, Florida has a distinct need for traditional retail assets that’s driven by the tourist shopper base, which prefers a one-stop shop for their goods along with a climate controlled experience” –  John Schupp, Senior Vice President of Retail Development at JLL.

FL Construction Comeback Image 3-01Florida’s construction numbers stand in stark contrast to the rest of the country, where the retail development pipeline remains slim, with just 45 million square feet nationwide under construction. However, Florida benefits from expanding retailers and increasing investment allocations. More than 29 percent of all new retail deliveries in the United States in the second quarter of 2014 occurred in Florida, and its major cities are absorbing the space well.

Tampa, which has historically been a strong U.S. tourist destination, is seeing the most robust growth with 1.43 million square feet of space under construction as of Q2 2014. Miami, which is a strong international city and one of the tightest Florida markets, has 1.42 million square feet under construction, the greatest amount of development in proportion to its existing inventory. These two locales are leading examples of resilient markets that have the fundamentals and key drivers to support additional supply.

The Florida retail market shows no sign of slowing, despite its loss of momentum during the recession. Development in the state accounts for nearly 13 percent of retail assets under construction nationwide, and a tidal wave of space is expected to come to fruition during the next 9 to 12 months in South Florida. Liquidity in the financial markets has continued to rise to pre-recession levels, increasing the ability to develop new retail assets, or redevelop older properties.

“Local, regional and national banks are the most viable sources available for development financing in core markets like Florida, that are in need of new supply. While not as common, we are also seeing life companies open their ledgers for construction-to-permanent financing, especially for strong grocery-anchored assets. Beyond the debt markets, there is a significant amount of institutional equity seeking the opportunity to invest in new and/or stabilized core retail product.” –  Jimmy Board, Executive Vice President of JLL’s Capital Markets.

Asia is the New Land of Opportunity for U.S. Retailers

Picture1Will Asian shoppers buy into the classic all-American look? United States-based mid-level casual apparel brands, are hedging their bets that “preppy” rugby polos and chic velour track suits will entice Asia’s rapidly growing middle class to buy U.S. goods. Newly released JLL research shows that U.S.-based brands are flocking to Asia faster than any other, knowing an untapped market awaits:

  • Approximately 21 percent of retailers expanding into Asia are U.S.-based, followed by Italy and the United Kingdom
  • More than one third of mid-tier retailers[ii] migrating to the market are U.S.-based
  • North Asia and Greater China stand out as the markets for greatest returns for retailers

“Rising income levels in Asia mean that an all-new consumer base can afford to purchase fashion and luxury items for the first time,” said Michael Hirschfeld, Senior Vice President of JLL’s National Retail Tenant Services. “Middle-class buyers are rapidly turning to the urban core, creating dense areas with top-shelf demographics – a perfect entry point for international retailers.”

In the coming decade, urbanization will drive wealth creation and mold consumer buying habits in the Asia Pacific region. Established U.S. mid-tier brands are expected to grow in peripheral Asian markets, while luxury retailers are anticipated to focus on the core markets, like Hong Kong, as many brands view it as a stepping stone to enter Mainland China. Shanghai and Beijing will also remain top targets, as the markets’ retail sales grew an average of 15 to 17 percent during the last three years.

“While the growth of luxury goods sales in China has cooled since 2013, it hasn’t been across the board,” said Jane Murray,Head of Asia Pacific Research for JLL. “Light luxury U.S. retailers are performing with strong same-store sales growth in China. There are strong growth prospects in the market, and though expansion will be very methodical and selective, we expect U.S. brands to continue to develop their footprint in the region. One of the major drivers is increased Chinese tourism, with the Chinese estimated to be the largest luxury spenders worldwide.”

While gateway U.S. cities remain top targets for growing retailers, major U.S.-based brands have simply run out of locations to expand at home without over saturating their presence. Asia is set to account for 40 percent of the world’s economy by 2020, growing twice as fast as the rest of the globe and JLL anticipates that established brands will begin to target outlying tier two and tier three cities. The region’s rapid growth and the purchasing power of its emerging 1.3 billion middle-class consumer base during the next six years is expected to continue to pique the interest of U.S. retailers.

About A Magnet for Retail: Research Methodology




Want to know the future of back-to-school shopping? Look to the past.

Shopping online just keeps getting easier. As deal sites abound, shipping prices fall away, inventory endlessly expands, and it begs the question: “does anyone load the kids up in the family car and drive to the mall anymore?” Turns out they do—and especially when school’s about to start. A recent survey shows that 90 percent of American households plan on doing their back-to-school shopping at physical retail stores this year, according to research from the International Council of Shopping Centers.

The explanation for this anomaly may have less to do with the convenience of the shopping itself than with the quirks of shopping for school-age kids. For Catherine Langell, mother to eight- and 12-year-olds in Dunwoody, a suburb of Atlanta, a trip to the mall is actually easier than shopping online. “Kids are influenced by their friends and they know exactly what they want and where they can buy it,” she says. “As fast as kids grow, parents know kids need to try on clothes and shoes in the stores to avoid returns—so online shopping is just not practical.”back to school shopping

For bricks-and-mortar retailers this is very good news. Back-to-school spending is expected to generate $74.9 billion in sales this year, according the National Retail Federation. On average, a family with kids in grades K-12 will spend around $670 on back-to-school gear, from iPads and mechanical pencils to shoes and backpacks.

Back-to-school season, running from mid-July and through August, is the second most profitable shopping season of the year, behind the holiday season. Like buying holiday presents, back-to-school shopping is a must for most families, and many shopping centers now implement back-to-school marketing programs and events on par with the traditionally more elaborate holiday marketing programming than the simple back-to-school activities of years past.

“It’s not just a one-stop trip anymore; families are averaging about four visits to their local shopping centers.” - Julie Rickey, Director of Retail Property Marketing for JLL

Knowing their stores will be crowded, retailers will go the extra mile to make connections, taking proactive measures to enhance the overall shopping experience. Many have launched tween-targeted events like concerts and celebrity appearances. And of course they’ll reach out to parents with price promotions that can’t be matched online.

Julie Rickey, Director of Retail Property Marketing for JLL says this year she’s seeing the back-to-school season broken into several shopping experiences. “It’s not just a one-stop trip anymore; families are averaging about four visits to their local shopping centers.”

She points to promotions like My Day, My Way, a JLL social media campaign at properties like Windward Mall in Hawaii, which will award customers with a VIP experience at their local back-to-school events, including preferred parking, front row seating at the center’s fashion show, beauty makeovers and more. Promotions like this are proven to drive traffic and increase sales, Ms. Rickey says. Alexandria Mall (which JLL manages), is using this promotion for its second year to bring the community together with fashion and shopping as parents and students get ready to head back to the classroom.

Does the surprising back-to-school strength signal resurgence for bricks-and-mortar shopping? Shopping centers sure hope so. ICSC spokesman Jesse Tron says stores are making a comeback. “Pent-up demand has propelled sales,” he says. “This momentum will continue into the Holiday selling season.”

By Greg Maloney | | @Greg_Maloney

Uniqlo’s Unique Way of Retailing

By: Damian Sumner, Head of UK Retail Agency JLL UK Retail

Japanese retailers are leading the way in retail service. There are clear pointers that American and European retailers could take on board to avoid slipping back in the Global Retail market.

UniqloThis service offer is pivotal in today’s increasingly virtual world. In the UK we are seeing that the real winners are those retailers that provide a seamless multichannel retail offer, combining the best of both the physical and the virtual worlds. The Japanese stores I have seen here clearly recognise the importance of the human factor, from faceless checkout to a spirit of warmth, hospitality and gratitude. Put simply, if you make the decision to shop in physical stores then you deserve this as an absolute minimum.

For me, Uniqlo is getting it right when it comes to service. For example in their flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York, the time shoppers wait at their tills is strictly monitored, whilst shop assistants hand back credit cards Japanese style, using both hands and making full eye contact. They also offer basics in more tailored fits than its rivals and many more permutations (polo shirts come in 80 colours). Unsurprisingly Uniqlo outsold Gap last year and is closing in on H&M and Zara.

Also expanding in the US is Muji, one of Japan’s leading household and consumer goods retailers. It aims to increase its nine retail stores in the US to around 75 by 2016. Furthermore, two Japanese convenience store giants have also announced real estate expansion plans in the US. There is Famima, an upmarket foodstore, owned by Tokyo’s Family Mart that already have operations in California and also Lawson, which has opened in Hawaii.

In addition, much of the US press is reporting that many American urbanites will be attracted from IKEA by the quaint Aki-Home. Aki-Home has just opened two stores on the West Coast as a springboard to nationwide expansion over the next few years.

As the Japanese retailers continue to wow consumers in the major retail destinations, American retailers are starting to take notice, for example some fashion operators are beginning to experiment with ‘quiet zones’ whilst a few convenience stores are considering the notion of intentionally employing friendly shop assistants!

Damian Sumner is a Regional Director at JLL and Head of the UK Retail Agency Team. He advises national and international retailers and retail banks on their real estate portfolio strategy across the UK.

Email Damian and his team to discuss the UK retail market in further detail

Connect with Damian on LinkedIn

Follow @JLLUKRetail on Twitter

photo credit: Uniqlo’s 5th Avenue Store. Photo – Esquire

Mark Raines Joins JLL to Lead Houston Retail Brokerage Practice

???????????????????????Building on its strong growth in Texas, JLL today announced it has expanded its retail capabilities into Houston with the addition of Mark Raines as a Senior Vice President. Partnering with Dallas Retail Brokerage Lead Clay Smith and Austin and San Antonio Market Lead Todd Wallace, Raines will focus on JLL’s retail business including tenant representation and agency leasing and will serve as Houston’s Retail Brokerage Leader.

“As the energy industry’s epicenter so much growth potential exists, both for retailers looking to expand and investors seeking to put dollars into the Houston market,” said Wallace. “With the addition of Mark, we’ve strengthened our retail service offerings, and now have specialized retail experts in the four major Texas markets of Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. We’re looking forward to furthering the growth of our retail brokerage platform in Texas and across the country.”

Raines joins JLL from competing global brokerage firm, where he specialized in retail brokerage services for national, regional and entrepreneurial tenants in the greater Houston area. Prior to commercial real estate, Raines spent six years in the new home development industry. A sampling of clients Raines’ has represented or is currently representing includes AT&T, Iberia Bank, Buffalo Wild Wings, Crunch Fitness, Gander Mountain, Conn’s Home Plus, Thomas Markle Jewelers and Good Year. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and is an active member in ICSC.

JLL Partners with Teen Vogue for Back-to-School Season Promotions

BTSS Image

Teen Vogue Back-To-School Saturdays™ (BTSS) is a galvanizing moment designed to motivate and inspire consumers to get out and shop for the best of back-to-school fashion, beauty, and more. BTSS is a multi-platform initiative involving all of Teen Vogue’s assets in print, digital, social, mobile and event marketing. Participating JLL-managed centers across the country will be hosting BTSS events August 9, 16, 23 and 30, providing the perfect opportunity to join forces with their retailers to position the centers as THE back-to-school shopping destination in their local markets. The teen-oriented events at JLL-managed centers will feature retailer sales promotions, entertainment, fashion shows, music, food and giveaways.

“Creating compelling back-to-school programming is so important for our shopping centers and the Teen Vogue Back-To-School Saturdays events will give our consumers an experience that can’t be matched online,” said Julie Rickey, Director of Property Marketing for JLL Retail. “We expect this programming to increase traffic and sales in our properties during this key sales period before we head into the holiday shopping season.”

This year, back-to-school spending is expected to generate approximately $74.9 billion in sales, according the National Retail Federation (NRF), making it a critical time for shopping centers to capture sales. Despite recent concerns that online sales would dominate the back-to-school season, it appears that shoppers favor bricks-and-mortar locations. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) expects approximately 9 of 10 households will select bricks-and-mortar retail as their back-to-school shopping venues, and events like Teen Vogue Back-To-School Saturdays™ are a great way to enhance the shopping experience for consumers.

To further enhance the shopping experience in their bricks-and-mortar locations, JLL developed a complementary My Day, My Way social media promotion to award lucky shoppers with a VIP experience at their local BTSS events.  For example, the VIP prize package at Rosedale Center in Roseville, Minnesota,will include a makeover (haircut, style, color and makeup), a one-hour $250 shopping spree in a store of the winner’s choice and two round-trip airline tickets on Spirit Airlines. Central Mall in Fort Smith, Arkansas,will offer their VIP winner a limo ride to the BTSS event, $400 in retailer gift cards, a beauty makeover by MAC Cosmetics, dinner at a Central Mall restaurant and a sweet treat from Dairy Queen.