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News Briefs

  • 5/14/2024

    In-store traffic expected to fully rebound by Q3

    shopping mall

    CBRE is predicting retail foot traffic to fully recover from the post-pandemic lull later this year.

    The real estate investment firm says that according to its latest data, foot traffic in prime trade areas is expected to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels by the third quarter and surpass those levels by 2025.

    By the fourth quarter of last year, foot traffic in 10 prime trade areas tracked by foot traffic analytics firm had reached 81% of 2019’s levels, demonstrating a strong recovery. Recent data from the firm showed that visits to major retailers were largely up in the first quarter of this year compared to 2023 levels.

    Record-low availability and increasing rents are leading to a rise in street-retail districts. CBRE says rents in prime trade areas have seen an increase of 9% in the Americas and 5.8% globally since 2021.

    “Retailers face numerous obstacles to finding the prime space they desire, including record-low availability and rising rents,” said Laura Barr, Americas retail leader for CBRE. "These market conditions are already inspiring forward-thinking retailers and investors to creatively solve for retailer growth targets despite a lack of space.”

    Despite a rise in omnichannel shopping, retailers know the importance of having a physical store alongside their online presence, as almost 70% of retail sales are digitally influenced. According to Forrester’s 2023 Retail Competition Tracker, in-store sales accounted for 78% of sales growth in 2022, a significant increase from 46% in 2019. 

    The shopping center industry association ICSC estimates that opening a store can boost a retailer's digital sales by nearly 7%. Conversely, closing a store can suppress digital sales by 11.5%.

  • 5/14/2024

    What consumers want from gift card loyalty incentives

    young male shopper

    A new survey reveals how retailers can drive loyalty participation with gift card incentives.

    According to the "Carat from Fiserv Q2 2024 Gift Card Gauge," 80% of surveyed consumers say they have decided at least once where to shop based on gift card loyalty incentives, with 16% indicating they "always" factor in these incentives. 

    Gift card loyalty incentives respondents most value include the conversion of loyalty points into gift cards (56%), bonus points on gift card spend (54%), and gift card reload bonuses within an app (46%). 

    Food-related businesses are respondents’ most preferred place to receive gift card loyalty incentives, with grocery chosen as a preferred option by 58% of respondents and restaurants by 42% of respondents. Retail stores (40%), entertainment (34%) and drug stores (29%) were other popular options.

    Although 67% of respondents said they are willing to share personal information with a brand in order to earn incentives, more than half have distanced themselves from a brand they felt was too invasive. 

    Leading privacy-related reasons respondents have distanced themselves from a brand include:

    • Too many mobile notifications (62%).
    • Excessive reminders/recommendations (58%).
    • App wanting access to too much data on their device (57%).

    Other findings

    • Favorite benefits of retail apps include the opportunity for increased savings (69%) opportunities to earn rewards (62%).
    • Six-in-10 respondents say digital wallets make gift cards easier to use, 55% say they provide more convenience and 44% say they enhance security

    [Read more: How effective are mobile offers?]

  • 5/13/2024

    BH Properties names new managing director of retail

    Greg Sullivan BH Properties

    BH Properties has brought in a 25-year veteran of the Mills Corporation, GGP, and Brookfield Properties Retail to lead its retail real estate division.

    Greg Sullivan has been named managing director of the Los Angeles-based company, where he will lead the acquisitions, management, and leasing for the firm’s expanding retail portfolio. At Brookfield, he served as VP of big box leasing/development with a primary focus on large format entertainment, big box, junior anchor, restaurant transactions, and vacant anchor store re-development. During his six years there, he oversaw the closing of some 300 lease and sales transactions totaling more than 10 million sq. ft.

    For the past six months, Sullivan had been operating as a retail consultant to BH Properties, advising the firm on several mixed-use retail acquisitions, most notably the 322,000-sq.-ft. Anchorage Square on San Francisco’s famed Fisherman’s Wharf and Lincoln Road, a 130,000-sq.-ft. retail center in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood.

    “As commercial real estate’s retail sector continues to work through a challenging economy, we see a great opportunity to grow our presence in the marketplace,” said Jim Brooks, president of BH Properties. “In so doing, we wanted to make a bold move and Greg’s experience and knowledge in both leasing and re-positioning gives us access to a national network of retailers and will help accelerate our retail efforts across the country.”

    BH Properties’ current retail portfolio consists of 39 properties comprising more than 3.8 million sq. ft. nationwide. It also owns and operates substantial portfolios in the office, residential, and industrial real estate sectors nationwide.

  • 5/13/2024

    Denmark, U.S. tops in highest average yearly online spending per shopper

    Young adult African American female consumer holding credit card and smartphone sitting on floor at home doing online banking transaction. E commerce virtual shopping, secure mobile banking concept.; Shutterstock ID 1979496134

    The amount shoppers spend online on a yearly basis differs widely by countries. 

    Denmark holds the first spot in the ranking of online shopping spending, with an average of $3,426.47 spent per online shopper yearly, closely followed by the United States, with an average online spending of $3,389.03 per shopper, according to a study by of more than 50 countries. 

    South Korea ranks third, with an average online spend of $3,032 per shopper. The country with the lowest spend was Switzerland, with an average spend of $1,675.84 per shopper.

    Clothing is the most frequently purchased category online across the analyzed countries.

    In other findings, the U.K. has the highest proportion of its population shopping online at 98%, leading to an average spend of $2,547, followed by China, with 97% of the population shopping online. In the U.S., 92% of the population shops online. 


    The countries were first chosen based on the highest percentage of online shoppers. Each country's total e-commerce market size, shown in dollars, was divided by the respective number of online shoppers. 

    Countries were then ranked according to these average spending figures, from highest to lowest. Additional metrics, such as online shopping preferences and online consumers' age groups, were added for the context.

  • 5/13/2024

    Survey: Customer service workers feel their mental health is neglected

    Wrong order

    A majority of retail customer service workers believe their employers don’t take their mental health seriously.

    According to a new survey from AI-powered customer service platform DigitalGenius of nearly 520 respondents, 48% of customer agents agreed with the statement "my employer takes the state of my mental health seriously." Just over a quarter (26%) disagreed, while the same amount neither agreed nor disagreed.

    Just under half (46%) of workers surveyed are not provided with any initiatives or resources to help reduce stress or promote mental health. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of workers say they feel more stressed and overwhelmed during peak trading periods, such as around major shopping holidays like Black Friday and Christmas.

    More than two-thirds (69%) of workers agreed that if customers are left waiting a long time, it affects their mental health due to stress. A large number (59%) of workers said they feel worse at the start of the day if they know there are significantly more customer queries to respond to, compared to a normal day.

    DigitalGenius also found that 68% of workers like to see how much work is outstanding for their team in the day, but 27% said they are not shown this information. When it comes to workload, 71% of workers would rather have fewer customer service tickets that required more attention than more average quality tickets.

    The 517 respondents each verified that they were a current employee working in retail or e-commerce, and were not based on a shop floor.

  • 5/13/2024

    Ted Baker closing all U.S. stores

    bankruptcy form

    Ted Baker stores in the United States are winding down operations.   

    Ted Baker Canada, which conducts business operations for Ted Baker in Canada, Ted Baker Limited in the United States, Brooks Brothers in Canada and Lucky Brand in Canada, said that it has begun store closing sales across select locations. As of May 10, the retailer also ceased e-commerce sales “for the time being" and said all store sales are final.

    The sales involve all 31 Ted Baker stores in the U.S. as well as nine locations in Canada. The sales, which offer savings of up to 30% off original prices on the entire collection of men’s and women’s clothing, are being conducted by Gordon Brothers.

    Store closing sales are also being held at all eight Brooks Brothers Canada stores as well all seven Lucky Brand Canada.

    In late April, the operators of Ted Baker stores in Canada and the U.S. filed for insolvency proceedings in Toronto and filed a related Chapter 15 petition in New York bankruptcy court to recognize the Canadian proceedings, reported Bloomberg Law. (Chapter 15 is a form of bankruptcy that protects a company’s assets from creditors while they restructure in a different company, the report said.)

    The bankruptcy filing comes approximately one month after Ted Baker’s European business entered administration.

     Alvarez & Marsal Canada Inc. is acting as the CCAA Monitor.  

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