How Big Data Is Leaving Shopping Centers Holding All the Cards

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Recently, we at Alexander Babbage have been reviewing ROI that shopping centers can reap when they invest in research. Today, we are looking at how shopping centers are using big data to increase their bargaining power.

For years now, retailers have used online sales, member programs and credit card transactions to build sophisticated customer files By combining that information with traditional trade areas, they can determine where their brick-and-mortar stores are going to thrive and make site selections decisions with a higher level of confidence.  It’s put developers at a disadvantage because they don’t have a traditional “customer’—a shopper file with key metrics including frequency of visits or dwell time.

With big data and tools like TruTrade™, developers have access to this information not only for their own shoppers but for their competitors’ centers, too. The ability to compare frequency, spend, and where the shoppers are actually coming from with competing developments allows the pendulum to swing back in the developers’ favor.

What we’re seeing today is that data is an arms race. Retailers have bulked up on customer data, which benefits developers most when there are limited new properties coming to market—something we all saw between 2010 and 2015. But with a lot more development and redevelopment in the marketplace right now, there is more gross leasable area (GLA) coming to market. The smart developers are the ones stocking up on their own arms—in this case, their own data analytics—to put themselves on a level playing field with retailers and to ensure that they are pricing their space correctly. This gets deals done and maximizes their return on investment—not just their investment in research, but their investment in the property as a whole.

Stop bluffing and invest in big data—your deal-making will be better for it.

CityPlace – Leasing Support and Overall Guidance for a Tourist Haven

Situation:

The CityPlace shopping center located in West Palm Beach, Florida sought to understand the best approaches to bringing in new tenants that would appeal to their target markets as well as understand the overall attitudes and habits of CityPlace shoppers.

Analysis:

Alexander Babbage developed a survey that would highlight both the opinions of CityPlace shoppers on the center as a whole and what would draw them to increase their visitation to the center. A shopper intercept study of 400 CityPlace shoppers was conducted on site at CityPlace.

Result:

Alexander Babbage’s research provided CityPlace with the in-depth knowledge of their visitors’ feelings on the center and what would make them more inclined to visit CityPlace more often. This research allowed CityPlace to not only market themselves appropriately to possible visitors, but to possible tenants as well in order to maximize their appeal to the people in the Palm Beach area.

Aventura Mall – Marketing and Leasing a Trophy Asset

Situation:

The third-largest shopping center in the U.S. – and one of the most productive – needs to maintain its competitive position.

Analysis:

Alexander Babbage has served as the research team for Aventura Mall since 2006.  We have studied shopper mix, tourist and trade area shoppers, and used research to drive sponsorship sales.  Our research has included a focus on the luxury shopper from Latin America including conducting tri-lingual research to accommodate Spanish and Portuguese speakers.

Result:

Turnberry Associates has used Alexander Babbage across their Las Vegas residential assets as well as their diamond property – Aventura Mall.

National Harbor – Developing a Mixed-Use Project for Optimum Utilization

Situation:

Spectacular urban-waterfront mixed-use development located on 300 acres of prime real estate along the Potomac River with stunning views of Washington, D.C. The developer needed to understand how to position, market and lease the property during development, operations and expansion phases.

Analysis:

Through trade area and on-property research we recommended market positioning, key demographic and geographic targets.

Result:

Our recommendations have helped National Harbor perform as a first-class urban mixed-use development and has provided the necessary data to secure the addition of Tanger Outlets – a substantial expansion to the property.

The Shops at Columbus Circle Time Warner Center – Understanding the Complexities of a Landmark NYC Destination

Situation:

The Shops at Columbus Circle at Time Warner Center needed to understand the needs of their shopper – including database members, area residents, hotel guests, nearby workers and domestic and international visitors.

Analysis:

Alexander Babbage conducted extensive shopper and trade area and international (UK and Brazil) visitor research to determine who was coming to The Shops, why they were coming, their level of productivity and which tenants they visited.

Result:

Using the findings from our research, Related continues to polish the jewel of their portfolio, increasing focus on highly-productive shoppers and using the research data to inform leasing negotiations, media buys and tenant relations. Related conducts research annually to gauge the preferences, attitudes and behaviors of their diverse consumer base at The Shops.

Atlantic Station

Re-leasing and Re-positioning a Major Mixed-Use Landmark

Situation:

In 2011 North American Properties began the process of re-marketing, re-tenanting and re-positioning Atlantic Station to attract a new customer.  The property had been extensively marketed and was being dismissed by national retailers without consideration.

Analysis:

Alexander Babbage worked with NAP to identify key variables that could ignite interest in the property and get a tenant to look deeper at the property.

Result:

With an enhanced leasing deck and credible trade area story that can be tailored to each prospective tenant, the center is attracting new tenants and showing double-digit same-store sales growth.  This growth and success allowed North American to sell the property in 2015 to Hines.

Westside Provisions District – Quantifying the Unique Appeal

Situation:

Jamestown wanted to more deeply understand who was shopping and dining at Westside Provisions District – not only their demographic profile, but also their likes, dislikes and preferences.  In understanding who is on property – and why they are there – the Jamestown team can make quantified go-forward decisions on key leasing, marketing, operations and development initiatives.

Analysis:

The shopper intercept study conducted in May 2015 yielded a strong set of talking points enabling the leasing team to quantify the property’s strength as a preferred dining destination that is strongly augmented by a unique atmosphere and strong women’s apparel offerings.  The study also revealed an opportunity to add additional local brands at somewhat higher points to the current mix – but results also underscored the need for Westside Provisions District to focus on unique retail choices in a broad range of price points.

Result:

Leasing and marketing have core metrics for targeting retailers and shoppers.  Since the study, custom leasing presentations have been prepared to support an upcoming meeting with Sur la Table.

The Shops Buckhead Atlanta

Successfully Leasing the South’s New “Rodeo Drive” Located Less Than Two Miles From Fortress Simon Properties 

Situation:

As Oliver McMillan began the bell cow leasing phase of its premier The Shops Buckhead Atlanta mixed-use development, the leasing team looked to Alexander Babbage to provide compelling data to demonstrate the power of the surrounding market – especially as compared to locations where key retailers were already open and operating.

Analysis:

Using the proprietary SpendR™ segmentation system, Alexander Babbage ranked all U.S. freestanding and department store locations for Christian Dior based on a 20-minute and 30-minute drive time.  The SpendR tool provided household level segmentation based on actual spending ability and spending propensity.  This allowed Oliver McMillan’s leasing team to quantify the potential of their site based on an empirical at-a-glance ranking of all existing Dior locations.

Result:

Oliver McMillan announced the Dior deal in late 2014 and the 5,000-square-foot two-story boutique is slated to anchor a parcel now under construction along Peachtree Road and Boiling Way.

Ponce City Market

Leveraging Existing Data to Craft a Ponce City Market Leasing Story that Resonates with Retailers

Situation:

Jamestown believed Ponce City Market would be an ideal site for a fourth Anthropologie location in Atlanta. (Excluding the Avalon location.) Anthropologie executives were concerned the market surrounding Ponce City Market would not align with Anthropologie’s target demographic profile or psychographic profile. They also were concerned about cannibalization with the Westside location and with Lenox Square.

Analysis:

In March of 2014, Alexander Babbage conducted a Peer Comparison Study comparing Ponce’s market to that of Abbot Kinney in LA, Bucktown in Chicago, Walnut Street in Philadelphia, Knox Henderson in Dallas, Highland Village in Houston, Columbia Heights in DC and Lenox Square and Perimeter Mall in Atlanta.  The comparison was conducted on demographics, psychographics and spending ability. Results of the study demonstrated that the market surrounding Ponce City Market compared favorably to Knox Henderson, Highland Village, Lenox Square and Perimeter on all three measures.  It also alleviated concerns about cannibalization.

Result:

 The Jamestown leasing team used the data provided by Alexander Babbage to demonstrate the strength of Ponce City Market to Anthropologie which resulted in a positive deal.  As of June 2015, Anthropologie is now open at Ponce City Market.

Westchester’s Ridge Hill

Providing Clarity on the Consumer and their Spending Habits

Situation:

Westchester’s Ridge Hill shopping center in Yonkers, NY outside of New York City wanted to understand who was their shopper and how they competed for trade area shoppers relative to their competitors.

Analysis:

Alexander Babbage provided an analysis of the Westchester’s Ridge Hill area to define and segment the spending habits of the consumers.  Through analysis of the population, Alexander Babbage segmented high-potential consumers to target – those households with both the ability and propensity to spend.

Result:

The SpendR analysis of Westchester County residents provided Westchester’s Ridge Hill with an in-depth understanding of the consumer habits within a 7-mile radius and a 10-minute drive time of the center.  These results granted Westchester’s Ridge Hill the opportunity to focus on the most productive shoppers in their trade area

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