California Centers

SEP 2017

California Centers Magazine serves retailers, developers, shopping center owners, investment sales brokers and tenant representation firms throughout the state of California.

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32 California Centers Magazine | September 2017 C C W e all know the retail indus- try is in a significant state of flux. A new generation is influencing trends. Tried-and-true companies that have been around for decades are biting the dust while unique concepts emerge. The ability to connect with brands, experiences and each other has now become a social currency that shopping centers must accept. And technology is changing the marketing, point of sale and deliv- ery mechanisms of merchandise the world over. The issue many in the retail world are now facing is whether the im- plementation of these concepts lies squarely on the shoulders of land- lords and tenants — or whether they are larger issues affecting us all. A few commercial real estate firms have found that these are, in fact, issues that impact the industry as a whole and, therefore, must be addressed at all points along the retail experience platform. ALL-ENCOMPASSING OMNICHANNEL The new era of retail is back-end fulfillment networks meet front-end brick-and-mortar stores. It's online shopping meets shopping centers. It's industrial meets retail. All rolled into one? It's omnichannel. And it's the wave of the future, according to global firms like CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield. These firms believe so strongly in the omnichannel approach that they have created niche groups dedicated to serving these exact needs. For these firms, this begins by of- fering shopping center landlords and tenants a full-service approach that allows them to seamlessly move mer- chandise along the supply chain and into customers' hands, regardless of where these consumers discovered, interacted with or purchased said merchandise. This encompasses ad- visory services within both the in- dustrial realm — namely, warehouse, distribution and fulfillment, as well as those within the retail realm — name- ly, marketing, display, point of sale and delivery. "CBRE has offered advisory ser- vices both for retailers and for logis- tics companies for many, many years," explains Brandon Famous, retail lead- er for CBRE's Americas division. "But we've heard noticeably more often in the past 18 months from retailers who need a single, multi-disciplinary ad- visor to help them manage the com- bined growth of their store networks and their e-commerce fulfillment net- works." The firm's response to this new need was to create an omnichannel real estate practice this past July that will coordinate its end-to-end work for clients that straddle the converg- ing retail and industrial and logistics sectors. "This all is rooted in what we and many others call the 'experience econ- omy,'" Famous continues. "More than ever, consumers are putting a high value on companies that provide a re- warding, seamless experience across all channels, including in-store, on- line and mobile. The retailers that best connect with consumers across all of those channels and provide the most compelling experiences are the ones that will win in the omnichannel mar- ketplace." Pine Tree, the owner of Pine Creek shopping center in Grass Valley (pictured above), works with tenants to create a robust marketing platform. CRE FIRMS UP THE ANTE ON OMNICHANNEL EXPERTISE Some of the nation's top commercial real estate firms are ensuring that shopping center landlords and tenants are taking full advantage of the omnichannel platform in the new retail environment. By Nellie Day

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