Shoppers at JLL-Managed Centers Share in the “JOY” of the Holiday Season

While shoppers are busy rushing to complete their shopping lists, JLL-managed retail centers have been tapping into the festive spirit of the holiday season by encouraging customers to stop and take a moment to Be a Part of the JOY.  JLL’s new “JOY” promotional campaign, which hinges on experiential marketing, allows shoppers to create memories to last the whole year through. Shoppers at participating JLL-managed centers can create and share their own version of JOY by finding giant in-center displays of the letters “J” and “O” and then posing as the missing “Y.”  Shoppers snap a pic and share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using a center-specific JOY hashtag and then invite friends and family to vote for their photo to win gift cards to center retailers.

“During the holidays, everyone is so busy that going to a shopping center may seem like something to be endured instead of enjoyed,” said Julie Rickey, Director of Retail Property Marketing, JLL.  “Yes, it’s a critical time for retailers and shopping center owners to drive traffic and sales but through the Be a Part of the JOY campaign, we also want to give our shoppers the opportunity to have an engaging experience that captures the spirit of the season.”

Shoppers have embraced this opportunity to get into the spirit of the season and create their own JOY.  Contest entries submitted on JLL-managed centers’ Facebook pages have been incredibly fun and creative with Y’s made up of tiny tots, cozy couples, entire families and even local Girl Scout troops, performance artists and more.  Many families are using their local center’s JOY display as the backdrop to create their personal holiday cards and then sharing the cards on the centers’ Facebook pages.

Center teams at JLL-managed properties have also embraced the promotion with JOY showing up everywhere from cookie cakes for retailer meetings to Santa’s arrival events to Black Friday door busters to “12 Days of JOY” giveaways.

  • Valdosta Mall in Valdosta, GA, the mall management team turned a vacant store space into a “graffiti wall” by installing JOY campaign graphics on a vacant storefront window, providing dry erase markers and then inviting shoppers to express themselves and share their own holiday JOY messages. (pictured right)
  • Regency Square Mall in Richmond, VA hosted a First Responders Appreciation Lunch where they gave local police, fire and EMS teams the opportunity to pose with the JOY letters, bringing a little extra joy to these hard-working professionals.
  • Killeen Mall in Killeen, TX, incorporated the JOY promotion into the center’s annual Night of Giving event.  More than 16,000 tickets were sold in advance for the 3-hour shopping extravaganza benefiting local non-profit organizations.

Beyond in-center promotions, nearly one-fifth of retailers this year will offer an “experience” to customers to help drive sales and traffic, according to JLL’s 2014 Holiday Sentiment Report, which includes feedback from 800 largely national or global retailers in JLL-managed shopping centers across the United States.

To learn more about JLL’s JOY promotion, visit the Facebook pages of the following participating shopping centers:  Central Mall – Fort Smith, AK; Central Mall – Lawton, OK; Central Mall – Port Arthur, TX; Central Mall – Texarkana, TX; Centre at Glen Burnie – Glen Burnie, MD; Chico Mall – Chico, CA; Coventry Mall – Pottstown, PA; Killeen Mall – Killeen, TX; Lakeshore Mall – Sebring, FL; Mall De Las Aguilas – Eagle Pass, TX; Mall of Abilene – Abilene, TX; Mesilla Valley Mall – Las Cruces, NM; Myrtle Beach Mall – Myrtle Beach, SC; Queen Ka’ahumanu Center – Kahului, HI; Regency Square Mall in Richmond, VA; Rosedale Center – Roseville, MN; Salem Center – Salem, OR; Southbridge Mall – Mason City, IA; Sunset Mall – San Angelo, TX; The Streets – Hillsboro, OR; TownMall of Westminster – Westminster, MD; Union Depot – St. Paul, MN; Valdosta Mall – Valdosta, GA; Washington Square Mall – Indianapolis, IN; Westgate Mall – Amarillo, TX; Windward Mall – Kaneohe, HI.  

 

Shopping Bags and Global Flags: Retailers Vie for a Stake in U.S. Real Estate Market

PART II: International retailers land on U.S. soil

Beyond cross-border capital flows, international retail brands continue to land on U.S. soil for expansion and are targeting top-tier core markets for their storefronts. A diverse consumer base, buoyant income growth and a resilient economy has currently lured 175 international brands to take root in 19 top retail markets coast to coast, according to JLL’s latest report, The New World of Retail.  European retailers have expanded most extensively into the United States with Italian, French, British, Swiss and German retailers crossing the pond most frequently.  

“Nearly one in five international retailers with U.S. operations has a storefront in New York City because it’s the perfect incubator for building brand awareness and testing the waters with a broad consumer base,” said Bob Gibson, Vice Chairman of JLL in New York City. “We are starting to see leasing traction pick up steam in markets with lower barriers to entry like Dallas, Houston and Boston. These cities are benefitting from population booms from corporate relocations and the energy and technology sectors’ evolution and success.”

While there are challenges facing retailers and investors operating internationally, the benefits far outweigh the risks, according to the JLL report. “Borders are becoming irrelevant and in the coming decade, owners and occupiers of real estate will have a laser-focused approach on investment and expansion, creating portfolios with varied markets, risk and maturity,” concludes Caldwell.

JLL’s The New World of Retail Index ranks the top U.S. retail markets based on a combination of short-term variables and sustainable long-term characteristics including household income growth, the number of total retailers, rental rates, vacancy levels, gross leasable area, and the balance of supply and demand. To learn more about each city ranking download the full report: http://bit.ly/NewWorldRetail

Shopping Bags and Global Flags: International Investment

As the flow of capital throughout the world increases, and retailers and investors chase diversification and strong returns, the U.S. retail market is attracting more time in the international spotlight. JLL’s latest research anticipates a measured and selective uptick in cross-border retailing and capital flows into the U.S. in the coming year.

PART I: Cross-border capital flows soar into U.S. retail assets

US Retail Capital Flow graphic2-01

Global capital markets competition is pushing overseas investor demand for U.S.-based retail assets, as evidenced by the $5.49 billion foreign investors funnelled into 134 property purchases this year, marking a six percent increase year- over -year. According to JLL’s Global Capital Flows report, the top five countries placing capital into U.S. retail include Canada, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and China. These five countries contribute more than three-fourths of the total foreign direct investment into U.S. retail real estate.

“The U.S. has always been a target for foreign capital, but we are finally seeing investors going outside their typical comfort zones, moving further on the risk spectrum and adding retail assets to their portfolios. This shift has increased the price per square foot for retail transactions higher than any other asset class this year, creating stiff competition for trophy assets and an uptick in interest for grocery-anchored strip centers,” said Margaret Caldwell, Managing Director of JLL’s Capital Markets.

Caldwell says global funds are increasingly eyeing secondary markets to support their long-term hold strategies. Markets that have a growing middle-class, lower barriers to entry and slim competitive set, such as New Jersey, Tampa and Cincinnati, witnessed that injection of foreign capital already this year.

JLL’s The New World of Retail Index ranks the top U.S. retail markets based on a combination of short-term variables and sustainable long-term characteristics including household income growth, the number of total retailers, rental rates, vacancy levels, gross leasable area, and the balance of supply and demand. To learn more about each city ranking download the full report: http://bit.ly/NewWorldRetail

JLL Identifies the Top U.S. Markets for Luxury Retailers in New Report

Coco Chanel once said, “In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different,” and in retail the right storefront can do just that: create irreplaceable differentiation. In the United States, five major cities, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco, have risen to the top of the list for luxury storefronts, according to JLL’s The New World of Retail report. JLL’s report, debuting at ICSC’s New York CoPicture1nference today, tracks the expansion of 350 retailers across the United States and assesses the vitality and attractiveness of retail markets, examining why the classic real estate principle of location, location, location remains essential to the success of brands.

The report indicates that while core metro areas ranked at the top of the list of preferred locations, they exhibit slower growth momentum compared to secondary cities. Several emerging retail markets like Dallas, Houston and Orlando possess the attributes for longer term success driven by ongoing population and income growth.

“Luxury goods embody elegance and acute attention to detail, and the storefronts and locations that encapsulate these treasures must be as unique as the goods themselves,” said Michael Hirschfeld, Senior Vice President of JLL Retail. “The retail elite typically flock to core cities where they tailor service and product mix to shoppers, but many of these metros are saturated and that’s pushing expansion in secondary cities.”

JLL’s The New World of Retail Index ranks the top U.S. retail markets based on a combination of short-term variables and sustainable long-term characteristics including household income growth, the number of total retailers, rental rates, vacancy levels, gross leasable area, and the balance of supply and demand. To learn more about each city ranking download the full report: http://bit.ly/NewWorldRetail

Holiday Pulse: Greg Maloney’s Five Black Friday Trends

Yesterday, I traveled around Atlanta to get a feel for how Black Friday was performing and live tweeted my experience. I spent 12 hours shopping, and put more than 200 miles on my car while covering the entire north side of the city. Here are my five key takeaways:

1. Thanksgiving day openings just took away from Black Friday door busters, but those that didn’t open Thursday were packed, Home Depot to name one.

2. The only stores that seemed to be busy on Black Friday were those offering a 50% off entire store promotion, with a few exceptions like Apple.

3. Power center retailers like Bed Bath & Beyond, Ulta, Old Navy, Michael’s and Best Buy were all dead at 6AM, and I checked back  at 8AM and they seemed a little better.

4. Value and luxury sectors are still performing the strongest, and seemed to stay busier past 2PM. North Georgia Outlets were totally packed with no parking at 4PM.

5. Target and Walmart were busy throughout out the day but not packed, probably due to early release of door buster deals.

Overall, this year seemed stronger than last. I will venture out again today and Sunday to see how things change. If you missed my live twitter stream, check out the top 50 tweets in this 60 second video.

 

Holiday Pulse: Shoppers Rest Up & Refuel Before They Hit Stores

After a strong start on Thanksgiving evening, traffic died down overnight and remained lighter than past years this morning according to JLL-managed centers Holiday Pulse report.  Much like last year, retailers that opened yesterday traded Black Friday morning sales for Thursday evening sales but the impact was greater as more retailers opened on Thanksgiving Day this year.  All centers expect traffic to pick up later today after the diehard shoppers rest up and refuel before they hit the stores again. Check out the top 5 center recaps of Black Friday morning:

1. Killeen Mall: “Traffic is slow this morning, except for the shoe stores with the Jordan shoe release. Zales reportedly doubled their sales this year over last with their 35% off the entire store promotion. We’re also seeing Pandora using iPads as additional check out stations to keep traffic moving.” –  Mardi Peaster, Marketing/Specialty Leasing Manager

2. Sunset Mall:  “Most retailers are reporting that their Thanksgiving Traffic was good and that they made their daily goals early. They are optimistic that traffic will pick up after lunch today as it has in the past three years.” - Sabrina Tatsch, Specialty Leasing & Marketing Manager

3.  Valdosta Mall: “Traffic this morning was stronger than anticipated although still very weak.  Retailers remain optimistic that traffic will pick up over the course of the day. We are also seeing online ordering with in-store pickup as a growing trend, with both Belk and Sears having had hundreds of online orders to fill with customers visiting the stores to pick up their purchases.” –  Jennifer Denham, Marketing Assistant

4.  Alexandria Mall: “We had a line of approx. 150 beginning at 5 a.m. for door opening, and we handed out 100 stockings to waiting shoppers at 6 a.m.  but at this time sales are slow but anticipated to build. The retailers saw much larger crowds on Thursday night, and major apparel retailers are already  reporting an increase in sales over last year.” - Malissa McKnight,  Senior Marketing Manager

5. Mesilla Valley Mall: “Most stores that opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and stayed open all night said they were busiest from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., then very slow until 7 a.m. this morning.  Of the stores that opened at 5 a.m. this morning, they said traffic was slow until 7 a.m” - Susan Palmer, Marketing Manager

 

Holiday Pulse: Malls Reported Strong Traffic on Thanksgiving

Shoppers did in fact hit the mall after the turkey tryptophan wore off last night, according to JLL’s Holiday Pulse Survey, which looked at a cross-section of JLL-managed properties in the U.S.  By all accounts, traffic was strong across the board and JCPenney and Victoria’s Secret were two of the biggest winners of the day.

Check out the top 6 center recaps of Thanksgiving Thursday:

  • South Park Mall: Lines were in full force beginning at 3 pm for Old Navy, and this carried throughout the mall as 6 pm became closer.   JCPenney reported more than 1,200 customers lined up for the 5 pm opening.  Through 10 pm traffic grew after the Dallas Cowboys game ended.” - Brian J. Peters, General Manager
  • Central Mall Lawton: “Mall doors opened at 6PM, and traffic was heavy, steady, and shoppers were loaded down with shopping bags. Lines formed at Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret and Aeropostale.” - Randy Ray, Marketing/Specialty Leasing Manager
  • Mesilla Valley Mall: “We opened at 6PM, and there was a line outside of the three outer JCP entrances of about 50 – 60 shoppers at each door.  Sears had a long line at their electronics entrance.  Victoria’s Secret, Aeropostale and ULTA had the longest lines for inline stores.  Initial 6 p.m. traffic was slower than anticipated, but traffic picked up around 8 p.m.” - Susan Palmer, Marketing Manager
  • Rosedale Center: “We saw  a slow start at 6 pm but traffic started to build around 7 pm and we remained busy (lots at 80%) until around 10:30 pm. Department stores are extremely busy and appear to have the best deals. They are also pushing their store credit cards, offering additional discounts for applying.” -  Liz Ostrander, Senior Marketing Manager
  • Santa Rosa Mall: “People began lining up at about 2:30 PM, at the mall, and  most were interested in the Old Navy $1M giveaway event and the Hibbett Sports shoe release. Customers lining up for Hibbett Sports showed up prepared, many had chairs, blankets and portable TV’s to watch the Thanksgiving football games. Sears and JC Penney had great traffic early and maintained a steady customer flow throughout the evening. ” – Paul Blackwell, Operations Manager
  • Valdosta Mall:  “Lines formed very late at mall anchors and other traditional big draw retailers in the market including Best Buy and Toys R US but by 7PM  mall traffic was strong throughout the entire center. JCP seems to be the big winner tonight —  More than 500 people were lined up for the 5 pm opening.” -  Enid Santana, Specialty Leasing/Marketing Manager

Twitter Takeover: Greg Maloney to take over @JLLNews feed on Black Friday

Maloney Black FridayTo commemorate and celebrate the official start of the holiday shopping season, retail guru @Greg_Maloney will take over the @JLLNews twitter account on Black Friday, November 28th between 6am ET and 6pm ET to answer your questions on the retail industry’s performance, and share live updates from JLL-managed malls around the United States.

For additional insights on this year’s holiday shopping season, download new data from JLL’s 2014 Holiday Sentiment Report, which includes feedback from 800 largely national or global retailers in JLL-managed shopping centers across the United States.

Shopper Traffic Expected to Increase this Holiday Season

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Image copyright of http://omnichannel.me/

Shoppers’ time, peer recommendations and attention are priceless commodities that retailers are vying for year-round and even more so during the holiday season. More than 85% percent of respondents to JLL’s holiday sentiment survey expect foot traffic this holiday season to increase or remain the same as last year, which saw 45 million holiday shoppers. This year, retailers will  need to create a customer experience that the internet can’t match, which does not include waiting in long line — and retail giant, Walmart, is doing just that.

Walmart is preparing for the influx of shoppers this year by making a Checkout Promise, where all registers will be open during peak shopping hours at their Supercenters. “Customers can expect to find self-checkouts open and a cashier in every lane,” says Duncan MacNaughton, EVP, Chief Merchandising & Marketing Officer of Walmart U.S.

Beyond opening checkout lanes to expedite point-of sale purchases, more than a fifth of respondents indicated they will be equipping staff with tech tools like smartphones and tablets that can accept electronic payments right from the store floor. For additional insights on this year’s holiday shopping season, download new data from JLL’s 2014 Holiday Sentiment Report, which includes feedback from 800 largely national or global retailers in JLL-managed shopping centers across the United States.

 

Who’s Hiring for the Holidays? 40% of Retailers to Increase Staffing

Image copyright of http://galleryhip.com/

Image copyright of galleryhip.com

 

The countdown to Black Friday begins – 10 days till the busiest shopping day of the year. So, who’s hiring for the Holidays?

To provide a better customer experience, more than 95% of respondents to JLL’s recent survey indicated their staffing will remain the same or increase compared to last year, with nearly 40% reporting they will increase their staffing up to 15%.  Retailers already prepping for the busy upcoming season with hiring sprees include:

  • Toys R Us, which announced that it is hiring 45,000 seasonal employees
  • UPS, with plans to hire 95,000 workers
  • Macy’s will be hiring 86,000 employees nationwide
  • Kohl’s is hiring 67,000 temporary spots

Check back during the next week for more updates on Black Friday and Thanksgiving Thursday from JLL’s 2014 Holiday Sentiment Report, which includes feedback from 800 largely national or global retailers in JLL-managed shopping centers across the United States.