January 28, 2016
More than 1,000 retail-focused industry leaders gathered this week in DTLA at ICSC Southern California’s Idea Exchange. The event was an ideal setting for new connections to be made, and old ones to be renewed.
A keynote presentation by Todd Putman, a consumer strategist, author and executive at Garden Fresh, offered bold, authentic and actionable ideas for retail professionals. In Putman’s “be more” speech, a revealing highlight was his advice that since people see you in a context that defines you, it is wise to focus on defining that context yourself, rather than letting others do it for you.
A key trends discussion among top owners and retail anchors included panelists: Irvine Company’s Dave Moore, Rockwood Capital’s Joel Mayer, Federal Realty’s Jeff Kreshek, Paragon’s Jim Dillavou, The Bloc’s Clare De Briere, Simms Restaurants’ Mike Simms, and Sprouts Farmers Market’s Elizabeth Hoxworth.
Savvy owners invest in the people and business behind a retail concept, in order to have a deeper understanding of how it is doing. This changed focus prevents surprises when a tenant is struggling. “It’s all about the sales.” (Moore)
The key metric is sales. From day one, it’s a good decision to be thinking about an exit strategy, and what the next buyer will think. Picking the right users for the long-term gets rewarded. “Know your customer.” (Mayer)
The “stickiness” factor is a focus at The Bloc. That translates into creating environments and experiences that are engaging and entice guests to spend more time and money at the entire property. The “secret sauce” is creating great public spaces, that integrate well with your mix of tenants. (De Briere)
Owners must consider whether to go after retailers with credit and stability, or to pursue a hip store. It is wise to remember that today’s A rated credit tenant could be tomorrow’s C rated one. (Kreshek)
Today’s retail environment is a blend of fresh and hip, with convenience. That’s a fundamental change that landlords must work on improving. (Moore)
We’re at a secular low of retail space production. (Mayer)
Regardless of what’s going on in the economy, retailers and owners must focus on creating irreplaceable experiences. (Hoxworth)
Online ordering isn’t going to replace going out to dinner, but we added $50,000 in sales through Door Dash. Online now gives consumers 20 options vs. one or two places around the corner. (Simms)
Those who’ve embraced Omnichannel are way ahead of those who’ve not. (Mayer)
Sprouts is experimenting with delivery providers, but is careful not to do a disservice to the value proposition (fresh and healthy food) existing customers count on. Millennials are interested in online shopping, so we’re working to find the right way to incorporate it. (Hoxworth)