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JLL report: Three strategies retailers are using to attract holiday shoppers


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, suggests retailers are optimistic about store performance, but are fighting the “survival of the fittest” match.

A lot of what the match comes down to is enhancing the retail experience and making sure the holiday hassle doesn’t crush shoppers’ spirits. Approximately 70% of spending happens in the first two stores shoppers visit, ushering in an earlier shopping season as stores try to use longer hours to get the first shoppers in their doors.

Nearly one third of respondents to JLL’s survey indicated their stores will remain open on Thanksgiving Day, and it’s likely shoppers will see even earlier openings on Black Friday as retailers seek to accommodate early-to-rise, eager spenders.

“If early openings, severe markdowns and blitz deals weren’t working, retailers wouldn’t still be doing them,” said Greg Maloney, president and CEO of JLL’s retail division. “To capture consumers this season, retailers are going beyond door-busters to prioritize shopping convenience through product distribution channels and customer service.”

Thirty percent of consumers will spend 50% of their total holiday budgets between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1. Still, retailers will keep fighting until the very last minute, by offering special pricing and deals throughout the season.

JLL’s survey uncovered three strategies retailers will employee to woo consumers this season:

1. Enhance Purchasing Ease: Good news for shoppers who want instant gratification without the hassle of hunting in-store, as nearly 40% of respondents indicated they will be offering both order-online and in-store pick-up services. Among JLL’s national brick-and-mortar clients, 10 to 15% of their online sales will be picked up in-store.

2. Convenience is Key: To compete with online merchants, more than one third of respondents said they will offer free shipping and/or ship-from-store to consumers during the holiday season, using back-of-the-house distribution facilities in their physical store locations.

3. Customer Service Matters: To provide customers a better experience, more than 95% of respondents indicated their staffing during the holiday season will remain the same or increase as compared to last year, with nearly 40% indicating they will increase their staffing by up to 15%.

“We predict e-commerce will grow three times faster than overall sales during the next four years, and it will rise from six percent of total sales up to 12% by 2017,” said Karen Raquet, director of national retail property services at JLL. “It is incumbent upon the retail industry to keep pace both online and offline, especially during this critical holiday season.”

For more information on holiday performance or how the retail industry is faring during this season, download JLL’s 2014 Holiday Sentiment Report.
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