Retail can be a tricky industry to nail down. Part marketing science, part gut instinct; leaders in the industry know how to blend both successfully to create magnetic places that draw in shoppers. Two of the industry’s most respected leaders, Sara Queen, executive vice president of asset management at Brookfield Property Partners and Deirdre Johnson, vice president of asset management at Federal Realty Investment, sat down with us for an in-depth look at the changes driving the industry. In the this month’s Knowledge Leader magazine cover story, “Shop Talk,” both give us an insider’s look at the secret formula to creating successful shopping destinations.
Both keyed in on the importance of gaining a strong understanding of your market through data: demographics, demographic trends, economic indicators, and housing. Deirdre expands on this idea by explaining how viewing consumers through a behavioral lens helps you understand lifestyles and buying behaviors. Revisiting this concept ensures that you provide the sweet spot of fulfilling both the needs and lifestyles of potential shoppers.
While these decisions must be made, they’re not easy. For instance, Sara points out that you might forgo a higher per-square-foot number in the short term to secure a hip retailer that drives foot traffic to your shopping center. In particular, retailers with productive loyalty programs can increase shopping trips and expenditures, which provides a quasi-marketing program for the entire center.
But attracting shoppers takes more than just strong marketing efforts. Truly successful centers become focal points of the neighborhood. As Deirdre explains, when done well, they provide a mix of uses that goes beyond necessities to deliver an overall experience that helps shoppers discover unexpected joys.
To read more retail industry insights from Sara Queen and Deirdre Johnson, download the Spring/Summer 2016 Knowledge Leader magazine.