Category Archives: Retail Market

THE POWER OF GLOBAL GENDER PARITY

I am just back from ICSC.  Besides much discussion of the demise or denial of the demise of  bricks and mortar shopping opportunities, I saw a presentation about this “Gender Parity” study completed by the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).  Take a look!

Click Picture to Download Report

“Narrowing the global gender gap in work would not only be equitable in the broadest sense but could double the contribution of women to global GDP growth between 2014 and 2025. Delivering that impact, however, will require tackling gender equality in society.

“MGI has mapped 15 gender equality indicators for 95 countries and finds that 40 of them have high or extremely high levels of gender inequality on at least half of the indicators. The indicators fall into four categories: equality in work, essential services and enablers of economic opportunity, legal protection and political voice, and physical security and autonomy.  We consider a “full-potential” scenario in which women participate in the economy identically to men, and find that it would add up to $28 trillion, or 26 percent, to annual global GDP in 2025 compared with a business-as-usual scenario. This impact is roughly equivalent to the size of the combined US and Chinese economies today. We also analyzed an alternative “best-in-region” scenario in which all countries match the rate of improvement of the best-performing country in their region. This would add as much as $12 trillion in annual 2025 GDP, equivalent in size to the current GDP of Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined, or twice the likely growth in global GDP contributed by female workers between 2014 and 2025 in a business-as-usual scenario.

“Both advanced and developing countries stand to gain. In 46 of the 95 countries analyzed, the best in-region outcome could increase annual GDP in 2025 by more than 10 percent over the business as-usual case, with the highest relative boost in India and Latin America.

“MGI’s new Gender Parity Score, or GPS, measures the distance each country has traveled toward gender parity, which is set at 1.00. The regional GPS is lowest in South Asia (excluding India) at 0.44 and highest in North America and Oceania at 0.74. Using the GPS, MGI has established a strong link between gender equality in society, attitudes and beliefs about the role of women, and gender equality in work. The latter is not achievable without the former two elements. We found virtually no countries with high gender equality in society but low gender equality in work. Economic development enables countries to close gender gaps, but progress in four areas in particular— education level, financial and digital inclusion, legal protection, and unpaid care work—could help accelerate progress.

“MGI has identified ten “impact zones” (issue-region combinations) where effective action would move more than 75 percent of women affected by gender inequality globally closer to parity. The global impact zones are blocked economic potential, time spent in unpaid care work, fewer legal rights, political underrepresentation, and violence against women, globally pervasive issues. The regional impact zones are low labor-force participation in quality jobs, low maternal and reproductive health, unequal education levels, financial and digital exclusion, and girl-child vulnerability, concentrated in certain regions of the world.

“Six types of intervention are necessary to bridge the gender gap: financial incentives and support; technology and infrastructure; the creation of economic opportunity; capability building; advocacy and shaping attitudes; and laws, policies, and regulations. We identify some 75 potential interventions that could be evaluated and tailored to suit the social and economic context of each impact zone and country.

“Tackling gender inequality will require change within businesses as well as new coalitions. The private sector will need to play a more active role in concert with governments and non-governmental organizations—and companies could benefit both directly and indirectly by taking action.”

http://www.mckinsey.com/global-themes/employment-and-growth/how-advancing-womens-equality-can-add-12-trillion-to-global-growth

 

WHICH GENERATION TO TARGET?

We are all fans of the newest consumers to come of age, the Millennials. These young adults, who are now aged 19 to 33 and number almost 70 million, are the darlings of the marketing world. But in their rush to capture the hearts and minds of these young consumers, who are now forming their first real households, many brands are forgetting about the other generations.

To help our colleagues drive sales to adults in various life stages, we created an easy chart to start the conversation. A discussion of these groups is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody really knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it.

Generational Market Segments

· Swing and World II

  • Born between 1909-1945image
  • 33.7 Million
  • 69 or Older
  • 14% of Adults
  • Health Care Consumers
  • “Grandchildren” Spending
  • Delayed Gratification
  • Moderation
  • Discipline
· Baby Boomers

  • Born between 1946 – 1964image
  • 74.9 Million
  • Ages: 50 – 68
  • 32% of Adults
  • Multi-generational Consumers
  • Drivers of Growth in Leisure/Hospitality
  • Still Individualistic and “Rebels”
  • Starting to think about retirement
  • Forever Young
  • 45 Million Grandparents
· Gen X

  • Born between 1965 – 1980image
  • 60.4 Million
  • Ages: 34 – 49
  • 25% of Adults
  • Boomer Parents
  • Divorced Parents
  • Insecure
  • Practical in Consumption
  • Diversity
  • Responsible
  • Use Web Extensively
· Gen Y / Millennials

  • Born between 1981 – 1995image
  • 67.9 Million
  • Ages: 19 – 33
  • 29% of Adults
  • Ethnically Diverse
  • Tech Savvy
  • Multi-Tasker
  • Need Lots of Input
  • Prefer Health to Wealth
  • Prefer Mobile Communication
  • Omnicultural
· Gen Z

  • Born between 1996 – 2010image
  • 46 Million
  • Ages: 5 – 18
  • Structured Schedules
  • Over Managed
  • Info in Short Grabs
  • Multi-Tasker
  • Tech Savvy/Omnicultural
  • The “I” Generation

Source: JB Research Company

(For a Printable Chart, Click Here.) 

Each generation has a special way it likes to be approached, and each responds differently to messaging. For example, Boomers still shop in department stores, although certainly not as much as when the oldest boomers, now 69, were kids. Gen Y rarely shops in department stores unless it is one of the “cool” ones, which include Nordstrom’s or Barney’s. Or when they are shopping for their parents’ Christmas gifts, so they can be easily returned to a convenient location.

In terms of amount spend per visit to the mall and department store, the 45-54 age group cuts across two generations, Gen X and Baby Boomers. Department store spending, however, is highest among Boomers, while all other spending is highest again across Gen Y and Boomers. Teenagers visit the mall most frequently, but understandably, do not spend much per visit.

image

In terms of wealth, an interesting analysis indicates that Gen X, a sector largely ignored by great brands, is a real contender when it comes to income, net worth and wealth. The difference between income and wealth is that income is what you earn every year, and wealth is the totality of your assets minus your liabilities. According to the United States Department of the Census Current Population Survey, net worth and total income is as follows in 2013:

image

In terms of net wealth, Baby Boomers hold the highest percentage of net worth dollars at 34% and the highest share of total income dollars, at 39%. The second highest is held by Gen –X at 29% of net worth dollars and 31% of total income dollars. Millennials hold 21% of net worth, and about 18% of total income dollars. Again, markets with the most money are Boomers and Gen-X.  But that is because Gen Y is young, and on their way to being the consumer heavyweight in the next 20 years.

Some salient characteristics of each of the largest buying generations, Boomers and Gen-X include the following:

.  Gen- Xers have money! They make up 25 % of all adults, but hold 29% of all net worth and 31% of all annual income earned. Half of them want to provide for their kids’ college, and almost all want to save for retirement. Two thirds plan on traveling for pleasure in the next year, and half will buy one or more luxuries.

· Boomers on the other hand, buy things for themselves and their grandkids. They are omnichannel and know their way around the Internet of Things. They expect hype in their advertising because they invented it (Mad Men, anyone?) They are early adopters of smart medical devices and are very critical about experiential retail, again because they invented it.

While we’re at it, here are some characteristic of Gen Y and Gen Z.  Gen Y is completely omnichannel, and have said that they will pay for responsible products, although this has not yet been proven in the market. They will be early adopters of smart wearables, especially sport gear such as watches. They want a seamless shopping experience and they DO NOT WANT HYPE. Because of all the information thrown at them by their various smart devises, they want their lives simplified, so they have invented “curated” everything from experiences, to vacations, to cooking, shopping, to putting together furniture, to decluttering their lives. Think  YouTube, Yelp, H&M and Zara (fast fashion), shopping sites, and Pinterest. Because there are so many of them, and because they are just starting to become a force as couples, they are the generation that will take over next.

Gen Z is a whole other puzzle. They are not old enough to have much money of their own, but they will in the next ten years. They are overscheduled, but they are completely omnichanneled, cutting across every platform of technology. They are extremely entrepreneurial and want to be heard. They also want to try out products before they buy. In order to appeal to them now, you have to continually innovate and evolve digitally because they live on their devices.

The world is complicated today and is becoming more complicated as we evolve and innovate with our shopping methods and choices. The Internet of Things, such as magic RFID tags, augmented reality, delivery drones, curated experiences, wearable technology and life hacking are among the many new experiences we must excel at and then change our products and communication as they change. It is a brave new world!

Entertainment Evolution Experience

Happy New Year Friends!

I can’t believe so much time has passed since I last wrote.  We have been very busy and had a lovely holiday.  Hope all is well with you and your family.

We are reminding you to come and join us at an exceptional conference “Entertainment Evolution Experience” to be held February 18th and 19th at LA Live! in Los Angeles.  I will be speaking on a panel entitled, “Open Air Projects – Pushing the Envelope,” where we will discuss, among other things, the need for human contact and fresh air!

We would be thrilled to see you there!

Here are the details:

Shopping Center Business and InterFace Conference Group are pleased to highlight the following panel for the Entertainment Experience Evolution Conference, February 18-19, 2015 at LA Live in Los Angeles. The multi-day conference will focus on what developers, owners, restaurants, retailers, cinemas, designers and entertainment venues are doing to evolve the consumer experience and create vibrant places to spend time.

Featured Panel:

Open Air Projects –
Pushing the Envelope

Arguably the most active type of multi-tenant retail, open-air centers have grown beyond service retail to become true community environments. Find out how amenities, restaurants, landscaping, hardscaping, and placemaking are changing open-air retail. See case studies from developers and architects on the transformation of open-air centers, from regional lifestyle centers to power centers to small community centers.

EEE - Open Air Pushing the Envelope Speakers

For a complete agenda, click here.

To reserve your spot today, click here.

The New Face of Retail

Can you smell it?  Fall is in the air!  It may still be 85 degrees in sunny California, but the kids have returned to school, a crispness is the order of the day, and last weekend, I did my annual fall shopping.  The trip this year was much more measured than other years, as I suppose it is for most in the developed world.  The recession is alive, growth from the last few quarters has slowed, and there is still rampant uncertainty in all of our daily lives.

But that is not what I want to blog about today.  On my trip, I did my usual “people watching”  noting a subtle but noticeable shift in the gestalt of the crowd.  We visited our local mall which is owned by Macerich.  The shopping center was renovated in 2007 and a huge Target took over a vacated Robinson’s-May as one of the anchors.  Still, the mall floundered and felt like an unhappy place to me.  And then voila!  In the midst of the downturn, with unemployment still above 9 percent nationally and American companies holding on to more than $1.8 trillion in cash ( not investing, not hiring), a new sense of hope and purpose is in the air.  Unscientific you say?  Yes, but after so many years in the business I am a reader of attitudes, unspoken  intentions, a focus group unto myself.

What has caused this shift in outlook, turned the gray glasses to rose-colored?  I believe it is the retailers, some of whom are doing an excellent job of reading their markets.  With my husband in tow, we were given free treats at Cinnabun, Wetzels Pretzels, and See’s Candy while waiting in line to buy a low-cal coffee at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.  I smelled popcorn and saw several happy families with brightly colored red-and-white boxes.  Where did they get these cheery delicious snacks?  Target!  (Sears, you lose again, even though this was your idea in the first place!) And while waiting in line, I saw the Giant Surprise that H & M, one of my favorites, will be opening in our mall in less than two weeks.  The fast-fashion Swedish retailer made the excellent choice not to locate in a struggling new “upscale” lifestyle center in Oxnard (oxymoron, lifestyle center: Oxnard) which would have been a huge mistake!

As a very wise presidential candidate once said, “it’s the economy stupid!” and retailers that have learned to provide VALUE and fun in the shopping experience and in the goods and services they offer are faring well.  TJX, Ross, Forever 21 and now Bloomingdale’s Outlets are giving consumers what they want and need in today’s difficult world.  Free stuff, fun stuff, inexpensive stuff, value for the money!

So while the economic indicators continue to stump the experts, the American consumer is not giving up!  They will continue to shop (less and cheaper), eat sugar and popcorn, and hope for the much badly needed turnaround.  And this, my friends, is a self-fulfilling prophecy for a better year in 2012!

Revealing National Retail Trends

Recently, I participated in a round table discussion with other retail experts in Southern CaliforniaShopping Center Business just published the following article about that discussion entitled “Revealing National Trends.”

***************************************************************************************

Feature Article, May 2010 – Shopping Center Business

“Revealing National Trends

Southern California Roundtable leads to discussion of trends that can be applied nationally.
Roundtable moderated by Jerrold France and Randall Shearin

Shopping Center Business held a retail roundtable hosted by Holland & Knight at the City Club on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles.

Shopping Center Business recently held a retail roundtable in Los Angeles, hosted by the law firm of Holland & Knight at the City Club on Bunker Hill. Attendees of the roundtable were Pat Donahue, Donahue Schriber; Sandy Sigal, Newmark Merrill; Jill Bensley, JB Research Co.; Jeff Kreshek, CIM Group; Bill Stone, Excel Realty; Jeff Green, Jeff Green Partners; Mark Schurgin, The Festival Companies; Greg Lyon, Nadel Architects; Julie Brinkerhoff-Jacobs, Lifescapes International; Tamsen Plume, Holland & Knight; Karl Lott, Holland & Knight; and Susan Booth, Holland & Knight.

SCB: Southern California is an important market as a lot of retail trends are created here. What do you get as an overall sense of the market here?

Donahue

Donahue: We are better off than we were a year ago. There were relatively no transactions last year. Things are starting to thaw out. We have exposure to four states and Southern California held up much better than Northern California, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Our occupancy in Southern California is even with a year ago, where our portfolio is off 400 basis points. Our rents in Southern California year over year are flat to plus two, versus a portfolio that was negative 11. Out of our entire portfolio, 80 percent is in California.

Stone: Our concentration is in the Southeast [United States]. The Southeast has been better; we have a number of centers there at 100 percent occupancy. When you go to the centers, not only are the parking lots full, but there restaurants are full. There are not as many people shopping out west. The whole country has been waiting for the other shoe to drop. In California, everyone is worried about the state. There has been some hesitation here on the part of people to go out and spend. People are holding their money.

Bensley: I looked at the personal savings rates back to the 1960s. This year, the savings rate is 3.3 percent, and that is down, which is good for the shopping center industry because consumer spending is two-thirds of our economy. Last year, it was about 5 percent. In 1991, during the last recession, the savings rate was at 7 percent. In the 1980s, it was at 10 percent. It just shows you the transition of what we’ve done in taking out money from our homes. That is where all that money came from. It was the spending of cash that was then all lost with the value of our houses.

Donahue: We, as a country, took on more debt in the last 7 years than in the previous 40 years combined.

Bensley: It is astounding. It is bad for retail when people save more, but at some point we have to even out.

Donahue: If we go to what we were doing, we will all be out of business. We have to have a positive savings rate. The idea that you are supposed to live above your means is not good. I’m thrilled we’ve shifted to a positive savings rate. It is going to wreak havoc on our business, there’s no question, but it is going to weed out the people who shouldn’t be in this business. Circuit City, Linens ‘N Things and Mervyn’s only lasted 12 months in the downturn. These aren’t retailers who weathered the storm. They shouldn’t have been in business when they were. This recession is weeding those players out. At the end of the day you will come back with a much stronger economy, a much stronger country, and consumers who are doing the right things. We can’t be leveraging ourselves into this.

(Left to right) Stone, Schurgin and Sigal.

Sigal: A lot of the retail failures were a function of the credit markets shutting themselves off. We are seeing a return of some financing to the marketplace. There are the haves and have nots — there are tenants who have access to the capital markets and the REITs who have access. The have nots are just holding on for dear life. If their debt gets called they are done. California is such a large market, you can’t say ‘California is recovering.’ We have centers in the inner city, denser communities. That customer has continued to visit because there is nowhere else to go. Our tenants are the 99 Cents Only and the discounters. In this kind of environment, their marketplace has grown. They have the base who has no one else to go and they have a new group of shoppers. A lot of people will discover retailers like Walmart, K-Mart and Target, and once they discover it, they will keep going. Our L.A. region has seen no increase in vacancy. We are still at 95 percent. In San Diego, we’ve been affected; we are 400 basis points worse there, just around 90 percent. It is a function of high rents and it is dependent on the housing market. The Colorado market has been our best market. It has been steady…

Click Here to read the rest of the article at Shopping Center Business.

How Target Saved My Birthday

As a corollary to my last blog, I am thrilled to provide a recent real world and personal example of a first class retail experience I had with the group that owns the “Cheap Chic” category.  Of course, I am talking about Target.  My husband, older son, and I were on my birthday trip to Truckee to visit my youngest son.  We weren’t leaving until 9PM because of family scheduling nightmares.  We decided to split the 10-hour trip from Ojai, in Southern California, to Truckee in Northern California into two legs.  For the first leg, we would drive about three hours to stay in San Luis Obispo (SLO), made famous by a recent episode of “The Bachelor.”  (Don’t lie; you watch it just to see how awful Vienna will be, what slutty and inappropriate thing she will say, and how much she will embarrass herself when Jake isn’t looking.)

We took off at 9PM on a Thursday evening.  I had two bags packed – one with my essentials (make-up, shades and meds) and one with my clothes.  I always count on my husband to pack the car.  (That’s the man’s job, right?)

So we took off and spent a lovely first night in a SLO hotel where I only brought in my “essential” bag.  The next morning, after a good night’s sleep and an early start, we went out to the car to begin the next day of our journey.  We put all the bags in the back of the 4Runner and I noticed we were short one bag.

“Did you pack my red rolling bag?” I queried Charley, my husband.

“No, I thought you had everything in the ‘essentials bag’!”

“Are you kidding me!??”  Has he met me? I am extremely high maintenance.  When I travel, especially to a cold place, I bring along coordinated outfits including no fewer than three pairs of shoes, no matter how short the trip.  And I am not one of those people who can do black, white (or tan), and one additional color.  Oh no, I need the pink shirt, the red sweater, a couple of jackets, etc, etc.

There I was, on my birthday trip, with no clothes!  And I was wearing ratty old sweats (for the drive), and a pink sweater and jacket from Sears!  (Remember my last blog about Sears?  This is what I bought along with a pair of red sandals that I, incidentally, didn’t bring to the snow.  Oy vey!)

So I stressed for a few minutes and then decided what the hell – there was nothing to be done, another excuse for retail therapy!

Now realize – I had no clean underwear, no socks, no sweaters, and nothing dressy for my birthday dinner… nothing but what was in my essentials bag.  And we were traveling on I-5 through the Central Valley of California, not really a stopping mecca.  Not a Nordstrom to be found along the way – not in Stockton, not in Modesto, not in Sacramento, nowhere!

“Why don’t we look for a Wal-Mart?” suggested Charley.  “We can have lunch and you can get what you need.”

Again – have we met?

But then I got the bright idea.  “Let’s look for a Target!”  They are my favorite when I go ‘cheap shopping,’ which is a bunch more often since the recession hit.

So we looked for the distinctive logo (which up until then I didn’t realize was a real target!).  When we found one, I was thrilled.  I was on a mission to get a whole trip wardrobe for under $150.

What would I need? Underwear, jeans, black tops, and a pair of black sweat pants.  Remember, I had jackets and shoes, so I was good in those areas!  While the boys went to get lunch at the Starbucks in the Target, I picked out two pairs of jeans, a black tank, a black paper-thin long sleeve tee, a black cotton V-neck sweater, three pairs of undies, and a new comfy pair of black sweats.  All fashionable, all reasonably well fitting, and none of them cheap looking!  I am thrilled to say, I wore all the pieces for five days on the trip, even to my fancy birthday dinner!

And so here’s to you Target, for saving my birthday trip, and being the best in class. Oh, and by the way, I had a ball with my husband and two boys, a trip to remember, uninterrupted by a forgotten suitcase.