California Centers

MAY 2018

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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24 California Centers Magazine | May 2018 C C says. "Customers today are seeking experiences and Westfield's premier properties are being designed to ac- commodate performances, concerts, food festivals, movie premieres and film screenings — everything from large-scale ticketed events hosting thousands of guests to intimate re- ceptions and even brand activations." The center has utilized this space to host the movie premiere and a special screening of "Love, Simon." Westfield's event spaces also recently hosted a month-long series of health, beauty and wellness events offering high- and low-intensity workouts, yoga, cryotherapy and meditation. "Through the success of this pro- gram, we've learned there is now a notion of comfortability and normal- ity in events that take place in public spaces and venues," Ruddick notes. Gyms, restaurants, movie theaters and program-heavy stages of all kinds can draw people into a cen- ter, but Mattis warns these tenants shouldn't be used as a one-size-fits- all approach to dark anchors. Even the three F's need a dose of diversity now and then. "Service- and entertainment-ori- ented retailers are some tenants back- filling anchor space as they provide an experience the consumer cannot achieve without physically going to the property," she notes. "But these retailers alone cannot be the only fo- cus for a center to be successful. They become too specific and the consum- er will only visit the property to get what they need and then leave. The real success is defined in achieving a balance of retailers that offer multiple reasons to visit and stay at a site." A winning re-tenanting strategy may include mixing notable junior anchor tenants with some of the new- er experiential concepts. "No matter the latest trend, there needs to be a good understanding of what the property is best suited for," Hammond argues. "You can't put a food hall anywhere and expect it to succeed. Today's most popular anchors fall within the health and fitness tenants, 'treasure hunt' retail- er and specialty grocer categories. When owners have been left with a vacant Toys "R" Us or Sports Author- ity, some of the first calls are always to LA Fitness, 24-Hour Fitness, Nord- strom Rack, Marshalls or Burlington, to name a few." Still, Ruddick may be onto some- thing with the idea that a large event can play a starring role at a center, if only for a day. That notion is all thanks to the power of social media. "Anchor tenants have historically been the major 'draw' to a center," Mattis continues. "The balance of the retailers in the project benefited from the amount of foot traffic generated by these anchors. Today, social media allows us to better understand the draw of retailers through the strength of their digital audience engagement and their ability to leverage that fol- lowing to attract shoppers to specific locations." Mattis doesn't believe this social media presence only extends to a spe- cific event or store, but can be utilized throughout the center, making the idea of an anchor almost seem fluid based on the day of the week or up- coming program schedule. "One of the reasons pop-up con- cepts and food trucks have attracted so much attention is the ability of these retailers to use their social me- dia presence to inform captive fol- lowers where their products can be found on any given day," she contin- ues. "I've had some coffee shops state they are actually anchors for a project given the popularity of their product and the ability to draw a larger con- sumer audience. Some owners are now requiring insight into the social media status of a retailer before con- sidering them for a vacancy at the property." Ruddick argues that a center 's cur- rent notable anchors, such as a food hall or gym, can even collaborate, playing co-anchor with smaller clus- ters of tenants, pop-up shops, food trucks or other programming, thus widening the reach of both concepts. "In many instances, implementing a diversity of formats is important," he says. "Having both sophisticated, chef-driven, full-service restaurants, alongside a new-to-market street food concept, or an established gym adjacent to a new health or studio of- fering can lead to success. You want to give customers what they are com- fortable and familiar with while also being aspirational, delivering a sense of discovery for something new." CC Mother Market is an expanding California chain that is using anchor space.

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