Taubman Centers will invest in design, technology and store mix across its 24 malls, as its COO says reinvestment is “crucial” for malls.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, William S. Taubman, COO of mall developer Taubman Centers, said that malls must be a destination to keep them relevant.
The company spent around $500 million on upgrading Beverly Center mall, in Los Angeles.
Taubman said: “Destination retail centers continue to improve and gain market share. They are not in a recession. Our efforts to reinvigorate the [Beverly] center are already paying of. We’re seeing materially improved traffic and sales productivity. Even with the project not yet completed, its sales per square foot has grown by double digits. If this trend continues, sales will reach historic levels this year.”
The company is also investing in its services for wealthy customers. These include personal shoppers, as well as investment in London-based concierge service Quintessentially.
“Marriage of the virtual and real world”
Taubman Centers has also invested with Westfield Group in the OneMarket retail technology network. (OneMarket is the rebranded name for WestfieldRetails Solutions.) The aim is to interpret customer data to create better retail experiences and ultimately boost sales.
Taubman said: “It will create a marriage of the virtual and real world that will allow us to address customers one on one and make their shopping experience far more efficient. Ultimately, the major retailers will all have their inventory on the system, using big data. So, when you get in your car and you say to Waze or you go into an Uber and you say you want to go to the Beverly Center, we’re going to know that you’ve pinned a black dress on your picture app. And we’ll be able to tell you, By the way, that black dress is on the second floor at Bloomingdale’s and we’ll have Louise pull it out right now and put it in a fitting room, and we will take you directly to it.”
The mall and the shopping experience are changing. The retail sector grapples with increased competition from online sales and rapidly developing consumer expectations. Earlier this year, Blooloop spoke to Steve Shah, Senior Director Mixed Use + Entertainment at FORREC Ltd about how to “un-mall the mall”
Image Courtesy John Lopez via Flickr