Wednesday, 7 May 2014

The Economics of Luxury

Maureen Hinton, Group Research Director for Global Retail, Columbo

Luxury shopping has proved much more resilient than mass market retailing aimed at domestic markets during the extended economic downturn. Though luxury shopping followed the overall global trend of declining sales in 2009, the sector and its major operators have enjoyed exceptionally strong growth since then, often double-digit, and luxury has not suffered the casualties prevalent in the general retail sector.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Smart Apps for Centres: Just another App? Think again…

Written by Amy-Louise Davies
Retail Property and Asset Management

The Swan Shopping Centre in Hampshire, managed by CBRE, has recently stepped out into the world of loyalty scheme apps and has experienced roaring success.

The app, simply named ‘Smart Rewards’, promotes customer loyalty and engagement. Points can be earned in a variety of ways; including visiting the centre, opening the app and sharing offers with friends. These points translate into unique discounts with the occupying retailers and free gifts that can be collected in The Swan Centre.

The app was launched in February and is already pushing 1,600 active users. Smart Rewards encourages the sharing of the offers through social media, spreading the word to an even wider audience. The sleek design, user friendly layout and engagement from retailers within the centre have been key to the success of the app so far.

However, this is just the beginning; the beauty of the app is that it links seamlessly with the Beacon technology, something which is relatively new to the UK retail scene. This innovative technology most notably appeared in the US at Macy’s department store and allows retailers and centre management to create promotions and offers which app users will receive through their mobile device when in range of specified locations around the centre.

This shows a significant leap in our progress towards targeted real time marketing and as more retailers join the campaign on site, the possibilities of turning user engagement into cash in tills expands further and further.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Heading back into the Dark Ages

As the online age continues it’s never ending march of progress, we are often left wondering what the next great idea will be. It might not be glamorous, or wonderfully high-tech, but the increasing use of ‘dark stores’ by supermarkets may be one of the most efficient and interesting innovations in retail.

Also known as ‘dotcom centres’, these large warehouses filled with robots and groceries might sound like the supermarket of the future; however, this is the vision we are presented with today.

Exclusively for online shoppers, the vast warehouses are filled with crates of products, replacing the traditional aisles of a supermarket. Tesco dark stores even contain robots that source and deliver the appropriate crates to a ‘picker’ member of staff who then manually packs the shop.

One of the biggest issues when shopping for groceries online are the ‘swaps’ that occur when the physical store has run out of the product you have ordered. For those wary of these ‘swaps’ the dotcom centres provide a welcome solution through increasing the availability of products.

Efficient, organised and targeted at the ever-expanding market of online shoppers, ‘dark stores’ are increasing in popularity. The number of those choosing to do their grocery shop online currently stands at 5.5% and this is expected to double in the next five years, with all major supermarkets adding to their portfolios in 2014.

Between the success of the dotcom centres and the rise of the convenience stores we are left wondering: what does the future hold for the plain old supermarkets that have long been a staple of our retail parks?

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Chris Igwe awarded the ICSC Research Award for Outstanding Service for 2014.

Here at Innovation Watch we are pleased to announce that CBRE’s Chris Igwe, Head of Retail in France, has been awarded the prestigious ICSC Research Award for Outstanding Service for 2014.

The award, which was established in 2007, has been awarded to Chris for his outstanding commitment and contribution to ICSC’s research programmes; more specifically writing and planning research pieces and presenting at ICSC Research events and advising on industry benchmarking through the sharing of data. Chris was selected for the award after discussion between the leadership of ICSC’s regional research committees in the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the Asia-Pacific region and Europe

Chris is a global authority on retail with a wealth of experience behind him, including working for Gap and Foot Locker as European real estate director, and co-founding; a website providing complete documentation on the real estate market of more than 14 countries and 202 cities in Europe.

When congratulated on his award Chris told us: “To receive the ICSC Research Award for Outstanding Service is a great honour. I have enjoyed working with the ICSC for a many years, and to be acknowledged by my peers and have my contribution recognised is a great start to the year; I hope to continue the partnership for many years to come.”

The award will be presented to Chris at RECon in Las Vegas on May 20 during ICSC’s Fortune Tellers Gathering.

Monday, 3 February 2014

Here, there and Elsewhere

A new app has been launched in Hong Kong to encourage shoppers to stray from the main streets to visit the premises of independent designers.

In a bid to support independent retailers in an established market that is heavily dominated by major players and where rents are high, Shop Elsewhere aims to bring independent retailers together to collaborate against the big brands.

Once shoppers have selected the designer of their choice on the app, Google maps will direct the user to the independent store where they can browse the collection. 

As a stylist feature, products in-store have QR codes attached to them which, when scanned, will link users to a website promoting complementary items from fellow designers. The app will then tell users how to get to the next store of the item they select, giving the customer options for a complete outfit by several independent retailers.

There are currently five designers working with Shop Elsewhere with plans to expand in the coming months. The app is free for brands to use but in return designers are expected to attach the QR tags to their products and must nominate at least one other designer to align their brand to the app.

As conceptually strong as we think this app is, it does have practical downfalls. The app works on the idea that shoppers are willing and able to travel from shop to shop to complete the outfit. As the app is targeting independent designers without premises on the main streets, these shops could be quite a distance apart and designers may find that shoppers are put off by the aspect of travelling.

However, as more and more designers sign up and the concentration of independent shops in an area increases, the idea of having a styling system integrated into a phone app sounds pretty promising.

Would you save time and stick to the high street? Or would you give it a go and Shop Elsewhere?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The future of fashion: Smarten up your wardrobe

From the practical to the unbelievable; wearable technology is fast establishing its place in the consumer market.  With the invention of futuristic gizmos such as Google Glass or Samsung’s Gear tech is increasingly being incorporated into everyday items.

The most important question to be considered is whether these gadgets are sustainable, or if they’re one off gimmicks that are both expensive and unsightly. For retailers, the technology could hold the added potential of offering exclusive promotions as well as enticing the increasing number of consumers interested in getting their hands on the latest digital gadgets.

In particular, sports stores could benefit from stocking wearable technology as there is already a vast array of watches which double up as heart monitors, calorie counters and workout buddies. These gadgets could be just the tip of the iceberg where sport related wearable tech is concerned – with developments being made in shoes, equipment and head wear. Samsung’s Gear watch pairs with a Samsung device via Bluetooth and offers functions such as camera, calendar and calls, as well as a more social side with built in Facebook, Twitter and email notifications.

One of the main obstacles that remain for the wearable technology market is to make it aesthetically pleasing, especially when appealing to the majority of the consumer market who want their gadgets sleek, sexy and unobtrusive. Couple this with their high price and many may be put off from investing in the wearable technology trend until a couple of years down the line.

So set your watches – the countdown to the future of fashion is on.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Tinker, Tailor Truck

For an age, the discerning gentleman has had his suit made bespoke by a skilled tailor. Traditionally, he may have visited the tailor’s home or a small store on a back street. 

Today, the rich and privileged now visit Savile Row in their stately Bentleys and swish sports cars, while the thrifty first-timers buy ‘off the peg’ or if they’re feeling adventurous send their guesstimated measurements off to a cutter in Thailand.

Tailor Arden Reed has come up with a more convenient way to have a suit tailored: stripped down to your underwear in a van….sounds appealing doesn’t it?

Well, those are the fundamentals of it. But when you take into consideration that the van will come to your work place, it has a luxury fit-out, and your measurements will be taken in just ten minutes, all of a sudden it doesn’t sound that bad.

Fitted with a heated cubicle, comfortable bench seats and shelves of luxury fabrics, the truck provides the ultimate customer experience. Clients are privately measured by the 3D scanner in the trucks heated cubicle, a process which takes only 10 minutes.

While it can cost several thousand dollars for a fully bespoke suit of the finest fabrics, Arden Reed suits from the Tailor Truck aren’t just for the uber-wealthy with prices starting at $400. The innovative method of taking measurements creates minimal inconvenience to clients through drastically cutting appointment time and, by coming to their workplace, travel time too. The 3D body scanner also eliminates the risk of incorrect measurements from clients submitting their size online.

The company, founded in 2008 by brothers Solorio and Mike Abadi, ships bespoke suits to more than 20 countries. Since launching the Tailor Truck six months ago the brothers say that the company’s financial performance has soared.

Solorio commented: “We started doubling our sales every month for the first few months of having the truck.”

The van will circulate the US twice a year, visiting key cities along the way.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Apple lights the way for retail with iBeacon

iBeacon is the latest smartphone innovation from Apple that could have a real and positive impact on the retail landscape.

Quietly released by Apple at the end of 2013, iBeacon is a small wireless sensor that can transmit data to your iPhone and vice versa. Using Bluetooth technology, your apps can be alerted when you approach or leave a location with an iBeacon, as well as estimating your proximity to the nearest one.

The physical aspect of the iBeacon is a small wireless sensor which can transmit data to your iPhone and vice versa. Using Bluetooth technology, your apps can be alerted when you approach or leave a location with an iBeacon, as well as estimating your proximity to the nearest one.

The uses for this new technology are surprisingly diverse; from personalised coupons to shopping lists with built in reminders. For almost all types of retail provider there is something to be gained from using iBeacon, and the benefits to consumers are just as great.

One use of iBeacons can be strategic placement of the wireless sensors around stores. Using Bluetooth technology iPhones will detect the signal. This will then prompt certain apps to open when the customer walks past an iBeacon. In practical terms this could look like a consumer compiling a shopping list on an app and once in store, being alerted when walking past products on their list such as being reminded you need bread when in the bread aisle.

The technology can also be used to issue tailored coupons direct to the customer – not only in the store but also outside. Through data collection a profile of the shopping habits of any consumer can be built, based on previous activity. Tailored discounts and offers can then be sent directly to a shopper’s mobile when they stroll past a favourite brand. Other apps could include a “remind me when at store” feature, so a customer can browse products online and be reminded of a favourite piece when passing the store.

The technology isn’t just limited to retail as there is talk from various technology commentators such as Wired of use in museums with apps offering personalised tours around exhibitions based on the interests of the user. Sports fans could use their mobile phones for ticket check ins; by walking past the iBeacon, a notification would ask something along the lines of “you’ve reached the stadium, would you like to check in with your virtual ticket?”

With numerous uses this technology could change the shape of retail and bridge the gap between online and offline shopping.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

CastleCourt’s Pop Up Theatre at Christmas

By Binder Tohani, Marketing Manager at CastleCourt 

The spirit of Christmas in the Centre was enhanced by the activation of a once empty unit which left the shoppers dazzled. The 21,000 square feet store unit was transformed into a full scale theatre on the mall in its literal sense. Cahoots NI, sponsored by CastleCourt, is an internationally acclaimed children's theatre company, that have used a refreshing and innovative approach to cabaret and vaudeville during the festive season. The Family Hoffman Mystery Palace featured story telling, live music, magic and illusion!

At its initial conception the Centre’s objective when considering to proceed was to:
  • Create theatre in the Centre, enhance customer experience and develop new audiences. 
  • Animate the use of empty space 
  • Mitigate rates liability which was the biggest financial gain for the Centre 
  • Sponsor a charity to enhance the Centre’s corporate social responsibility, a key element of all CBRE Shopping Centre Marketing Campaigns. (Cahoots NI is a charity) 
  • To enhance engagement with neighbouring communities 
  • Generate interest for future tenants to rent the space
  • To increase footfall 

Marketed both in the mall and online via social media, audiences were invited to take a break from shopping to be mesmerised by the artistes of magic and illusion! From the 11th – 21st December the team performed twenty-seven free 15 minute shows. Using social media and theatre on the malls the artists lured the unsuspecting but curious shoppers in to fill the 75 seat shows. Each show was a full house and the delighted audiences were truly entertained, leaving highly amused, bewildered and amazed. If you don’t believe us, watch the video:

The effort and enthusiasm that has gone into putting this together over the past 6 months has resulted in fantastic returns for both CastleCourt and Cahoots NI.  The Centre not only benefited considerably from mitigation of rates liability but has also been able to create a fantastic new experience for the shoppers, creating magical theatre on the mall.  Retailers reported a lift in sales during the period the show was on, Facebook activity of likes and post reach audiences was greatly enhanced. We were delighted to bring a new experience to the shoppers of Belfast, adding a point of difference and spectacular theatre on the mall.  The show was simply good old fashioned family fun in an unusual location, where the closer the audiences looked the less they saw!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Doddle does it

With Christmas on our doorstep, many of us will be relying upon parcel deliveries. In the age of e-commerce we are increasingly turning to the internet, instead of Santa’s sleigh to deliver our presents on time.

With innovations such as Amazon Lockers and Stockholm’s DHL’s MyWays delivery proving to be a success Network Rail is trialling Doddle – parcel collection and delivery shops positioned in mainline stations.

Initial trials are taking place in Milton Keynes that will then be expanded to Paddington and Woking stations, with a view to roll our further throughout 2014. For those of us familiar with the “sorry we missed you slips”, the idea of picking up our online orders during our commute is very much welcome, especially with promise of the shops being open seven days a week.

Other benefits will include easier returns and quality checks of parcels that will result in higher customer satisfaction rates, which at this time of year is much appreciated; a happy shopper can turn into a Christmas Grinch at the mere sight of a 3-5 day delivery period.  Running alongside the shop will be a user friendly website and an app.

Benefits will also be felt more widely with around 4,000 jobs estimated to be created, and the reclaiming of redundant space in stations will add a new lease of life to the network’s most important hubs. With the scheme open to all retailers, e-tailers, and parcel carriers there will be little reason not to hop on board – next stop: Parcel Heaven!

Monday, 2 December 2013

A Lick of Lippy

Who has a problem with finding exactly the right colour lipstick?

Every woman on Earth.

Isn’t it always the case that you want a bit of this pink, but with that reddish tint and the gloss from the other one? BITE LIP LAB is offering an innovative service as a possible solution to the ever-present pout predicament.

With a ‘laboratory’ store setting, shoppers can pick and customise a lip colour wanted and have it made in front of their eyes. Once customers have chosen their ideal colour, bullets of lip colour are melted down with scent and moulded into lipsticks to take home.

While the bespoke process offers a very personal touch, it can be drawn out and labour intensive, making high volume sales as difficult as the sales process.  At $34 (£22) each, a lot of lipsticks will need to be sold to keep pace with New York’s steep rental rates. However, with Christmas fast-approaching now is the perfect time to launch.

And at least now you don’t need to be Kate Middleton to have a custom lip colour.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

H&M goes GaGa

Fast-Fashion leader, H&M has taken store innovation to the next level with a new Social Media Lounge, “try and buy” feature, and interactive mannequins in its New York Times Square flagship store.

The flagship will be opened by none other than poker-faced starlet, Lady Gaga, who will be making an appearance at the event and promoting her album, ARTPOP which is in H&M stores worldwide. 

The “try and buy” feature in-store will give customers the chance to purchase garments in the fitting room as they try them on. Shop assistants will carry wireless card machines and customers will have the option of leaving the store in their new outfit. As well as this, customers will be encouraged to walk the “virtual runway” and have their catwalk performance projected on the stores external LED screens for all of Times Square to see...thanks, but I’ll hang on to my dignity for now.

As futuristic as Gaga herself, the Social Media Lounge is located on the store’s mezzanine level and will feature seating, free Wi-Fi, integrated iPads, headphones with music, mobile fitting rooms, and a photo studio. An entire day of fun packed onto one floor - something to do while your friend is rocking the virtual runway, maybe?

Adding to the tech-savvy store design are interactive mannequins. The mannequins will have screens attached to their foreheads that play videos or flash photos and special deal alerts, this avoiding confusion with actual store assistants.

We’ll see you on the runway!

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

1,023 coffees later...

MAPIC is done and dusted for another year and, if we’re honest, it was the best yet.

We weren’t at the beach the WHOLE time...

The feel-good-factor at MAPIC this year wasn’t just due to the good weather, beautiful scenery and great company. The recovery of the retail marketplace was also a strong theme for this year and investors, developers and retailers were all in good spirits.

The CBRE stand, in all its green glory, was cutting edge and packed with delegates for the entire duration of the show. Coffee, canap├ęs and networking of the highest order certainly made our stand one to remember and miraculously enough, not a single coffee was spilled.

The fifth annual edition of ShopFront hit the shelves of the stand on the first day of MAPIC and we got some cracking tweets with our #SpottedwithShopFront campaign. Among the best was Super ShopFront Man by a mysterious tweeter, @MJReillz, and a Star Wars hit by our very own @Richardson_AJ. 

Our client party on the Wednesday night was a hit. Guests completely filled the spacious Grand Salon at The Carlton Hotel and the champagne was flowing. More than 400 client badges were painstakingly laid in alphabetical order for guests as they arrived, while Russian violinists (with enough costume changes to rival Mariah Carey) mesmerised guests with their music. The grandiose of the Grand Salon was backlit in green (of course) and hundreds of flowers transformed the room into something whimsical. It almost felt like the set of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Bird, Dalgleish and Davies are thinking of “going pro” after the completion of their Cycle to... MAPIC ride from Milan to Cannes. We didn’t have the heart to tell Mr. Dalgleish that his success could have been due to his electronic gears but hey, as chief sponsors of the ride, at least we know that he helped raise an impressive £15,000 (and counting) for Coram, the UK’s leading children’s charity.

Our three research sessions were well attended, with @cbreRetail the place for lively discussion and debate. If you have yet to see our reports and ViewPoints, What makes a good Secondary Shopping Centre? can be found here; The Market for XXL Warehouses in Europe can be found here and How We Shop – The Changing Face of Europe’s Consumer can be requested here.

Before the conference, we gave you a list of stats about MAPIC. Post-event, here are some of our own:

400+        guests at the CBRE client party

500     km cycled by Rhodri Davies, Malcolm Dalgleish and Ciaran Bird

40%            more CBRE delegates than last year

1,023        coffees served

1,625  total hours worked by CBRE delegates over the three days of MAPIC

92                 tweets posted by the @cbreRetail account

All-in-all, we’d say it was a pretty successful week. Innovation Watch can have its blog back now...please stop by and visit us again for the latest in retail innovation from around the world.

Friday, 15 November 2013

The most successful MAPIC ever

The final day of Jonathan De Mello's MAPIC blog is now live on Estates Gazette – a spot of tennis, copious amounts of lemon cake, and making US retailer connections; a thoroughly successful event all round!

Candid in Cannes: Neville Moss

Neville talks to us about European consumer shopping habits and how they will define the shopper of the future.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Candid in Cannes: Richard Holberton

Richard Holberton, Director, EMEA Research

Richard discusses the challenges and opportunities that supply chains are facing as a result of e-commerce.

Spain on the Rise

by Gonzalo Senra, Head of Retail Investment CBRE Spain

Spain, Italy and Portugal have been under significant pressure since the economic downturn but positive sentiment has returned in recent months and recovery is a strong trend at MAPIC 2013.

The Spanish market is showing strong promise. Headlines such as Spain, waking up international investor’s appetite are becoming more regular in trade press and Q3 figures reveal that Spain is now ahead regarding retail investment in Europe, having reached an investment volume of 595 million euros between July and September.

The growth in Southern Europe has seen Spain’s core retail market experience several significant acquisitions by global investors in Q3 2013. The purchase of Parque Principado shopping centre in Oviedo by Intu Capital/CPPIB for €161 million is among these as is the acquisition of Puerto Venecia shopping centre in Zaragoza.

A total of 1.5 billion has been transacted in commercial real estate in Spain over the last four months - more than half of the total volume last year. We have expected retail investors to move further along the risk spectrum for some time, but this is the first quarter to provide substantial evidence of this and is great news for the Spanish economy.

As MAPIC progresses, we hope to see retailers expressing interest in entering or re-entering these markets as a result of the growing positivity around the area. 

Candid in Cannes: Albert Hoogland and Dr Herman Kok

Following the CBRE session yesterday "What makes a secondary shopping centre successful?"
we spoke with panelists, Albert Hoogland (CBRE) and Dr Herman Kok (Multi Development) about what actually defines a secondary shopping centre and how it works best.

When in Cannes...

Wednesday at Mapic - it's been hectic!.... Day two of Jonathan De Mello's MAPIC blog is live on Estates Gazette - with the mention of boat parties and acid jazz, it's a pretty good read!

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Candid in Cannes: Naveen Jaggi

Senior Managing Director of Retail, CBRE, Americas, Naveen Jaggi gives us his thoughts on MAPIC this year.