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Retail Isn't Dying But There Are Fewer Winners

Much has been written about the decline in brick and mortar retail and inevitably, just as much as been written about its revival. While retail sales hit a record of $6 trillion in 2018, The Wall Street Journal recently reported: “The perceived renaissance now seems to have been largely a function of lean inventories, not an actual increase in demand. Now inventory is high again, and retailers are resorting to promotions.

If you’re getting whiplash, you’re not alone. Here at Omnee we recently met with top mall operators at the International Council of Shopping CentersRECon event in Las Vegas and found that while everyone follows the numbers, what’s most important is to understand the why behind this picture.

Understanding the ‘why’ means you can find the right path forward with a holistic view of consumer footfall trends throughout your entire property, down to the individual store level. With fewer winners in retail, this type of insight will be the basis for building a better, more profitable, real-world shopping experience.

Fewer winners: Understanding cross-shopping

While many online retailers continue to establish brick and mortar stores, fewer traditional brands are thriving. The key for property owners is to understand how brands come together for consumers, not simply to offer them more and more options. Omnee’s audience analytics platform for mall operators transforms consumer and cross-shopping behavior data into actionable insights, without compromising consumer privacy. Technology’s role here is to capture and analyze cross-shopping activity and offer a blueprint for property owners to redevelop and maximize their asset with the strongest brands.

For example, top REITS at RECon knew they were driving foot traffic thanks to installations like Amazon Lockers, but only had the sales numbers from tenants to back up their investment. Further intel on these customers and their journey lets smart retailers focus on creating a complementary experience, rather than simply providing a pick-up location for packages.

Future of malls is modular

The ability to track consumer behavior throughout the mall, not just in stores, gives operators confidence in green-lighting renovations, understanding where to locate—and how much to charge—tenants, installing promotions and executing marketing that benefits the tenants throughout their properties. A modular approach allows you to string these pieces together, and replace any one “module,” or store, without affecting the rest of the system.

Creating a modular mall may mean less big name, anchor stores.  Instead, property owners will adapt to focus on the experience for consumers. Being flexible, fast and agile aren’t common adjectives for mall operators, but with the insights they’re able to gain from technology, they could be.

As audience demographics change, so must the spaces they inhabit. Malls will be modular so they can pivot quickly to what the shopper wants in order to make it a better experience rather than just a place to shop.

To hear more about how predictive analytics translates into more effective events, sponsorships, lifestyle adds or mixed-used spaces for your mall,  request a meeting with us here.

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