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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Page 33 of 58

May 2018 | California Centers Magazine 25 C C J ust as the retail world was getting used to the idea of Millennials and their "creative" differences from their older cohorts, a new gen- eration is waiting in the wings, ready to do things their way. Many believe Gen Z — born between 1995 and 2010 — is simply an extension of the Millennial generation. While there is some overlap among these groups when it comes to their appreciation of technology, need for speed, desire to create meaningful relationships and pursuit of fulfillment, there are key differences between the rising decision-makers of today and the key influencers of tomorrow. "Younger people, now in their teens and tweens, are not just an extension of Millennials; they are a new gener- ation with unique experiences, beliefs and behaviors," said Marcie Merri- man, executive director at Ernst & Young, in the firm's new report, The Rise of Gen Z: A New Challenge for Re- tailers. "The key factor that differenti- ated these two groups, other than their age, was an element of self-awareness versus self-centeredness, meaning the younger people placed a greater em- phasis on their role in the world as part of a larger ecosystem and their responsibility to help improve it. The older ones were more focused on what was in it for them." This wouldn't be the first time Millennials were associated with an entitled air. The mid-20s to mid-30s population may be wrestling with the self-centered label, but that doesn't mean Gen Z can escape without a lit- tle self-examination of its own. This generation is typically characterized as self-aware, self-expressive and self-serving, meaning they would rather find and implement a solution themselves than wait for someone to do it for them. INSTACONNECTION Then there's the other form of "self" that the younger generations tend to be obsessed with: the selfie. In an age where items are ordered with the tap of a finger, the ability to provide "In- stagram-worthy" settings within a retail environment is an effective way to ensure your shopping center reso- nates with Gen Z. "Gen Z looks for spaces that in- stantly capture their attention and in- trigue them," says J. Wickham Zim- merman, CEO of Outside the Lines, an Anaheim-based rockwork, themed construction and specialty water fea- ture creator. "With the world at their fingertips, they are looking for envi- ronments that entice them to look up from their smartphones, smile and snap a quick selfie or Instagramm- able moment." These displays can take many forms. They can be as simple as a col- orful wall on the side of a building, such as the 45-foot-high, 131-foot- long upside-down San Diego skyline by interactive artist Kelsey Montague at Westfield's Horton Plaza in San Diego. They can be mobile, making them easy to relocate or change, such as the #OnlyOnRodeo installation that features photo-worthy back- drops like a rose garden or gold-col- ored, broken glass that chooses dif- ferent spots on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. They can also be perma- nent, built-in displays, such as the 2,214-square-foot fountain surround- ed by 20 arching jets with their own The Veranda is a 375,000-square-foot retail, dining and entertainment destination in the Silicon Valley submarket of Concord. CRACKING THE NEW CONSUMER CODE: FROM A TO GEN Z A new generation of influencers is emerging to take the retail world by storm. By Nellie Day

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