Retail Strategy

Retailers are Banking on Buy Now Pay Later

Retailers are Banking on Buy Now Pay Later 1440 428 ASG

Today’s shoppers are used to recent innovations like BOPIS and curbside pickup for delivering products, and they want more payment options at the register too. Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) solutions, also known as Shop Now Pay Later, caught fire last year, making up nearly 2.5% of the global eCommerce market, and the payment method is now catching on in U.S. brick-and-mortar stores.

Many retailers are now turning to BNPL platforms, such as Afterpay, Klarna, and Affirm, to create an alternative payment option for the in-store shopper. Retailers are using BNPL as a payment differentiator to diversify their target market and lure Millennial and Gen Z shoppers who love the contactless nature and budgeting muscle BNPL options provide.

BNPL 101

As inflation remains high, consumers are looking for ways to fulfill their holiday lists while overcoming economic challenges. Enter “Buy Now, Pay Later,” the modern-day reverse layaway option that allows buyers to get the product they need now, but pay for it later in interest-free installments. In most cases, a consumer makes an upfront payment or initial payment. The balance is then spread out over a predetermined number of payments. There are usually no added fees for the consumer unless the borrower misses a payment.

Are consumers using it? In a big way, particularly Millennial and Gen Z shoppers, whom retailers want to woo. With their general distrust in credit cards, many Gen Z shoppers like being able to budget for their goods post-purchase, without the plastic or a hard pull of their credit. That helps explain why BNPL loans grew more than 10 times from 2019 to 2021 and they have only been increasing.

A recent survey found that 48% of Gen Z respondents said they planned to use BNPL to pay for gifts this holiday season, other generations of consumers aren’t far behind. Nearly 47% of millennial respondents and 40% of Gen X respondents said that they plan to use BNPL to finance some of their holiday gifts this year. Only Baby Boomers bucked the trend, with 14% of respondents stating they intended to use BNPL for holiday spending.

Experience Driven Loyalty

In survey after survey, consumers consistently put “experience” at the top of their wants list when it comes to retail. And as retailers continue to refine their shopping experiences, they must empower customers to pay how much and when they choose. It’s the type of satisfaction that can drive repeat business.

Although the U.S. has been somewhat slower to adopt BNPL than retailers in Australia and Asia, it has certainly come in with a boom. In a recent podcast, Karen Strack, Senior Vice President of Transformation at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, explained how retailers can use BNPL as a positive differentiated experience that brings shoppers back.

“The powerful appeal of such payment configurations cannot be overlooked when it comes to reimagining the in-store shopping experience to provide consumers a better overall experience,” said Strack.

World Pay Head of Vertical Growth, Maria Prados, said in the podcast that the loyalty engendered by BNPL platforms was unexpected. “Buy-now-pay-later creates a lot of loyalty and community, which is very unusual for a payment method,” said Prados. “But 30% of shoppers won’t buy unless there’s a BNPL option. It’s the fastest-growing method globally.”

Strack also shared how BNPL can help consumers through the product lineup journey. “One of the observations that we have had is that a lot of the shoppers are graduating through that process. So, especially with a luxury client, they might actually just start with buying an accessory or a scarf. And then they start to really understand the value in that [they] can control their budget, and they’re graduating to handbags and higher-end prices. And from a retailer perspective, that’s creating lifetime value in your shopper. It’s a really big bonus.”

The Downsides

One of the biggest disadvantages for merchants is the fees associated with working with BNPL platforms. Some have fees as little as 1.5%, making this a great option for reducing credit card fees that they pay, which can be as much as 3.5%.

Another consideration is what the future holds for the BNPL industry. With a substantial increase in consumers taking advantage of this service, it has caught the eye of financial services regulators who are concerned about potential risks.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warns that borrowers face inconsistent consumer protections—protections that are standard elsewhere in the marketplace. As more BNPL providers are creating digital profiles of users, the CFPB is also warning consumers about the risks that come with monetizing consumer data, including the threat to consumers’ privacy. As a merchant, it’s important that you work with credible third-party providers. It’s also likely you will need to stay on top of industry regulations to ensure you don’t play a role in any consumer protection violations.

Give Shoppers Control

Sure, the appeal of BNPL is the ability to spread out costs over time. But what BNPL really offers consumers is control, something consumers have been craving since the pandemic. Prados told Business of Fashion that the pandemic spurred retail five years ahead in innovation in a matter of months.

“While it will be painful for the industry and economy at scale, the situation allows for so much necessary innovation,” she said. “Payments can be an afterthought, but we are talking about the very end of your conversion funnel — it could not be more key.”

Big Brands See Return from Small-Box Formats

Big Brands See Return from Small-Box Formats 1440 428 ASG

What goes around, comes around—karma, boomerangs, design, and fashion trends. Retail experience is no exception. Small-format shopping has been on the decline since the dawn of big-box shopping, but could we be returning to our old ways?

You may have that one produce manager, cashier, or bagger you say hi to every time you stop at the grocery store. You might chat it up for a quick minute, but it’s hard to catch up when there are 50 people behind you waiting to ring out their thanksgiving turkeys.

Instead, if the store were smaller with multiple locations as opposed to a major central post, employees could give more time and attention to individual guests. The focus could shift from maintaining store operations to connecting with every person. This model allows brands to mold their shopping experiences specific to their neighborhood audiences and make a positive impact to strengthen brand loyalty. In this instance, shoppers no longer feel just like a cog in the machine of a running corporation; they feel like truly valued patrons.

People like to be acknowledged, appreciated, and made to feel special. We’re currently facing a brand renaissance in which consumers expect brands to interact with them personally. Brands represent human qualities, values, beliefs, and actions—all of which are now part of a brand’s messaging, shared with the public alongside their products or services.

Smaller-format stores that prioritize connection with the individual make us feel seen while humanizing the brand. More time to connect meaningfully with guests means more time to authentically sell the brand.

Retail with a Local Lens

Getting consumers to leave their houses these days has become quite the exercise. There better be a good reason to spend extended time at a business, whether it’s a unique offer, sensory engagement, or just a great shopping experience. Nordstrom local offers the typical nordstrom store features, with options for tailoring, alterations, gift packaging, and even a way to give clothing donations. Smaller floor plans and less space to fill allow brands to save money on fixtures and square feet and rather invest in valuable differentiators and experiences.

It might sound like common sense, but smaller stores mean less cost. Brands can use these savings to open more stores in an area, upgrade the finishes and features of a smaller store, or simply bolster the bottom line. Having smaller-format stores allows for the flexibility to enter very specific markets. Smaller locations also give brands a less risky way to enter new markets. Less space and investment keep brands from getting backed into corners, trying to make store models work where they don’t.

Locations specialized for the population fulfill the true mission of any retail business— providing a community with what it needs. Daily life isn’t quite the same in San Diego, CA, as it is in Portsmouth, OH— that’s obvious, and we’re watching our big-box brands evolve their business models and stores to bridge the gap.

In New York, Rent-a-Center has recently opened a small-format store to better serve a dense, urban population. By downsizing, customers in the city now have easier access to the showroom without having to travel out of the city to peruse a massive warehouse. Saving money on square feet, rent-a-center can invest in endless aisle technology for shoppers to browse the entire store selection with help from the in-store associates.

In the United States, Target has been unveiling small-format stores that serve smaller, walkable communities, such as college campuses. These smaller locations consolidate the communities’ shopping habits and needs into a convenient store location without wasting space on unnecessary product that doesn’t resonate with local shoppers.

Data-Driven Local Insights

Smaller stores mean less room for merchandise, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. We use countless tools and technology to curate our advertising, sales forecasting, locations, and more, so why don’t we apply revelations from the data we collect to specialize our product offerings? Sure, it might be used from time to time to sort in-store vs. online supply or create a few specially merchandized displays, but what if we truly listen to our consumers at a smaller scale? Trends vary and evolve across communities, so what resonates to one group might fall short for another. Rather than attempting to cater to a large swath of varying personalities and communities, we can use data to truly speak to our local consumer in the store.

Small-format shopping lets companies and store employees have easier control over store details and the ability to make the store their own. Bringing in local culture and personalities gives a human voice and touch to the brand.

Guided or option-based programs for stores to pick and choose branded assets provide structure while adding a customized look to the smaller space. Nike’s new concept, Nike Style, embraces local collections and unique environments to create intriguing customer experiences with different offerings at each store. The boutique-styled stores aim to provide customers with premium experiences over traditional wholesale.

Aesop has even taken the initiative to utilize local materials to imbue its spaces with the culture and history of the area. These stores that marry local culture and history with the brand and products intrigue customers and acknowledge shoppers’ roots.

With big-box stores going small format, shopping at every store has become its own experience. Our big brands are embracing this to encourage education, connection, loyalty, and reinforcement of the brand mission. Creating unique, localized experiences in smaller-format stores opens the door to a brand’s evolution of personality and substance.

How Landlords Can Help Form the Retail Future

How Landlords Can Help Form the Retail Future 1440 428 ASG

The way we all live, work, and shop is changing. The owners of the spaces in which we do all of that living, working, and shopping contribute to creating the future—with new experiences and spaces that attract new and innovative tenants.

With the retail landscape, culture, technology, and customer expectations in an apparent state of change, it’s time to create the retail future customers want, retailers need, and landlords benefit from. It’s no longer business as usual. How can landlords adopt a growth mindset and change with the tides?

Flexible Lease Terms Help Attract New Tenants

New retailers are coming to the neighborhood, and landlords have a great opportunity to attract them to their spaces. It requires a change in mindset because landlords must rethink lease terms to attract these new and innovative brands.

Right now, landlords can change the nature of their relationships with their tenants by not only demonstrating a willingness to be more flexible with terms but also increasing investments in infrastructure and safety. Landlords will also benefit from supporting the success of their tenants. For example, accommodating retailers with a reduction in lease length in exchange for a percentage of the retailer’s online sales could benefit all involved.

Sure, it involves a shift in thinking for everyone, but this is how we will begin creating the retail future that we want. Here are some of the ways landlords can adapt:

Shorter lease terms. Landlords are enticing tenants to spaces by providing shorter-term leases that include a variety of renewal options.

Contract flexibility. Retailers are skittish coming out of the pandemic experience and need more flexibility in terms of force majeure definitions and lease adjustments based on situations beyond their control.

In addition to offering shorter lease terms, offering certain concessions can help attract tenants, including:
• Rent deferrals
• Sublet allowances
• Rent abatement
• Options for renegotiating lease terms

At the same time, landlords can ensure that they are protecting their own interests by:
• Requiring approval of any sublet
• Adjusting percentage rent to include online sales
• Increasing pass-through costs for climate and safety related updates
• Delineating specific recourse should the tenant fail to pay or abandon the lease

Help Tenants Meet Consumer Expectations and Deliver Better Experiences

Consumers have higher-than-ever expectations of the brands from whom they purchase, and retailers are looking for spaces that support the promises they are making to their customers. Landlords who are open to a changing relationship with their tenants will have the opportunity to help reshape the future of retail to be more resilient and sustainable. To successfully do this, the process must become less adversarial and more open; landlords and tenants must learn to work together, or they all suffer. Landlords can help by:

Offering improved safety and infrastructure. Many landlords are investing in improved HVAC, redesigns to enhance BOPIS, and technology infrastructure to make tenancy more inviting for retailers who are also having to adjust how they serve their clients.

Investing in Sustainability. Retailers whose brands have made promises of sustainability will expect landlords to invest in solar panels and make other necessary changes to their buildings to better meet consumer expectations.

Remaining Spaces

Landlords are redefining the mix of businesses in their spaces by reevaluating how the space is used. For example, some landlords are converting space for retail health clinics, mixed-use spaces, and warehouse space for last-mile delivery.

“One direction for some malls is turning underpopulated sections into ‘digital districts,’ where ecommerce pure plays can try their hand at brick-and-mortar retailing in small-format spaces. The digital natives benefit from a curated location tailored to their audience, while the mall can advertise a slate of cutting-edge concepts.” – Retail Touchpoints

This is also a suitable time to reevaluate what kind of tenants are used to anchor your spaces. We’ve learned that retail spaces that are anchored by necessity shops – grocery, DIY – are more likely to remain solvent than ones anchored by outdated department stores.

The Pop-In Shop

Landlords with the willingness to be open-minded about what kind of shops occupy their spaces are also finding tremendous success with pop-ins, family entertainment, and co-working spaces. For example, empty spaces in neighborhood shopping centers lend themselves well to holiday-themed pop-in stores for Halloween and Christmas. These short-term, high-profit shops can be an ideal way to fill an empty space for the short-term. Start-up retailers are also enticed by the pop-in opportunities that let them test the waters before making a longer-term commitment.

Entertainment

From theaters and arcades to indoor paintball and laser tag, landlords that are welcoming tenants who offer entertainment value that keep consumers coming back have seen enormous success. These retail venues benefit other tenants as well, as once the customer is there, they may also want to shop, eat, and otherwise spend the day nearby.

Co-Working Spaces, Fitness Centers, and Ghost Kitchens

With more people working from home at least part of the time or working for themselves, co-working spaces are an easy way to fill empty retail space. Fitness centers are also becoming a popular way to fill empty spaces that attract consumers. And if the space has a kitchen, soup kitchens, shared kitchen spaces, ghost kitchens, pop-in food services, and other food-based organizations are jumping at the opportunity to leverage available retail spaces for innovative purposes.

Creating the Future of Retail, Together

As retailers grapple with the changing retail landscape, the way forward will require innovation, collaboration, and negotiation. The opportunities that come from all this change can be exciting, but it does make lease negotiations more complex than ever.

“Landlords and tenants must forge viable partnerships. Landlords need stores and associated rents to meet their obligations and, right now, many retailers need financial accommodation to survive. Even so, the tenant has a contractual obligation to pay rent. Once adversarial, the landlord/tenant relationship is becoming more symbiotic.” – Chain Store Age

Both landlords and their retail tenants require appropriate protections and guarantees. However, if both sides approach the negotiations from a collaborative standpoint rather than an adversarial one, both with an eye toward future successes, they can both thrive.

Pop-Ups as a Retail Experience Lab

Pop-Ups as a Retail Experience Lab 1440 428 ASG

Pop-up shops have become a cure-all in retail business strategy over the past few decades. If done right, pop-ups benefit everyone involved, making them a no-brainer for many brands. Since they began popping up, we have watched them evolve as retail hubs, bolster marketing strategies, and even improve landlord-tenant relationships.

Revolutionizing Retail Hubs

Pop-ups started out as experimental, unique spaces for brands to test specialized customer experiences. Today, they’re revolutionizing street location shopping. Retail hubs have become modular and ever-changing; new, exciting businesses are constantly opening and revolving through these areas—making for a fun, fresh visit every time. Cities big and small have seen pop-ups appear in their suburbs or smaller neighborhoods, not just prime shopping districts.

Landlords and rental agencies have become open to shorter lease terms than have been traditionally available in retail spaces. These leases can be prepared quickly and are less-burdensome for the tenants.

Some spaces and agreements can be shared, cohabitated stores that rotate out regularly. These businesses can plan weeks or months to occupy the given space, execute their pop-up, then clear out for the next business. These shared environments work great for small business coalitions and artists especially, as they can offer lower rates with longer lease terms (offering the chance for multiple pop-ups over the lease term). This creates a win-win situation for landlords and tenants alike.

Striking Marketing Gold

Pop-ups are a goldmine for meaningful, interactive marketing for a brand or product experience that people want to share on social media. The idea is for shared content around the pop-up to create brand awareness and drive traffic to the pop-up location. Everyone wants to see fun, different shopping experiences, and consumers are apt to share. Executing a good pop-up is guaranteed to result in a wealth of valuable word-of-mouth marketing. A pop-up introduces the brand to people who otherwise might not have had it on their radar. The “exclusivity,” or more so the limited time aspect of a pop-up, amplifies consumer interest. Add this to the social media buzz, and you have created the perfect recipe for increasing brand awareness—the main goal of a pop-up.

Pop-ups are also a great way to experiment and test markets, consumer targets, specific locations, product, experience, and more. They offer total brand control and maximum brand exposure. Watching the ways in which consumers shop in a pop-up or how they respond to different experiences can give great insight into what works best for the brand in a given market. Working on the ground of a pop-up, employees interact directly with the customer base. These physical interactions with the brand are beneficial to a new retail business, making pop-ups an ideal business strategy for small businesses or new businesses entering the retail space perhaps after solely operating online.

Good for All Involved

We have seen all the ways pop-ups can benefit the businesses who execute them, but how do they benefit landlords and consumers? A pop-up could bring awareness to surrounding businesses, driving in-bound traffic. Say a shorter lease is about to expire, the landlord could openly advertise the space for rent at a pop-up event and receive far more exposure than if they were to run ads elsewhere. Pop-ups also assist landlords by filling vacant spaces quickly. Businesses might be able to get good deals on rent while the landlord fills their properties. These new businesses bring in money to the area and the public benefits from these ever-changing, interesting pop-up experiences.

Pop-Ups Actualized

Most brands have been taking full advantage of the benefits pop-ups offer, with countless remarkable experiences opening over the past few years, enticing the public to visit brand-curated spaces.

Lone Design Club works with independent brands to bring conscious consumerism-focused pop-ups to spaces around London. These pop-ups include layered experiences, such as vibrational sound meditation, professional panels on a variety of topics and industries, and community networking.

Ikea opened a “play cafe” in 2017 to rethink the way we use and view our kitchens. People could come in, enjoy some of their famous Swedish meatballs and play games with their friends and families.

Casablanca, a Paris-based luxury brand, held a travel/airport-themed pop-up within Selfridges, furnished with all the bells and whistles of an airport terminal gate. The popup let customers explore and discover merchandise set throughout the space while allowing Casablanca to test a physical retail store for the brand.

Many other luxury brands have been able to invest in the pop-up economy and are finding ways to evolve the landscape. In July 2022, Hermes held a gym-inspired pop-up in LA with live fitness classes, lifestyle-inspired merchandising, cocktails, live DJs, and more. These pop-up spaces give brands the endless freedom to curate specialized experiences to inspire, educate, entertain, or simply interact with guests. The L.A. experience is just one of several HermesFit popups around the world including Brooklyn, Tokyo, Paris, Bangkok, and more.

Here to Stay

Don’t expect to stop seeing them anytime soon, as modern pop-up culture has taken the retail world by storm and proven its value to retail strategy. Pop-ups are here to stay and are becoming more valuable as part of the retail ecosystem. They have revolutionized retail hubs and have benefitted all involved.

Retail Strategy: Scaling with Purpose

Retail Strategy: Scaling with Purpose 1440 428 ASG

Scaling: do it right and you win market share and brand equity; do it wrong and waste an enormous amount of resources and damage the brand. With such high stakes, it certainly would be nice to have a manual for this sort of thing. In the absence of a singular “right way” to scale, the retail strategy must come from the top.

As brands develop strategies for deliberate scaling, it is up to leaders to provide the vision and support to the scaling team. The strategy needs to be a living, breathing, evolving approach that is flexible enough to change in response to consumers and other industry shifts. Scaling is not – as evidenced by the struggles some brands have had with their approach – a one-and-done process.

Test, Learn, Adjust

Purposeful, deliberate scaling doesn’t just happen. It is the result of testing different markets, then adjusting the assortment, product mix, and operations based on what is learned. This method of expansion allows for customization without sacrificing brand integrity.

An openness to testing can lead to major successes and revelations. Home Depot has successfully and strategically scaled thanks to the leadership of its new CEO, Edward Decker. Decker has authorized testing of different store formats and different types of real estate to learn what works and how to scale effectively. His thoughtful approach has resulted in Home Depot being identified by Seeking Alpha as a “top-notch dividend growth idea.”

As we continue to explore retail strategy, it’s remarkable that no matter how much the retail industry changes, the need for strong leadership never does. Strong retail leadership is essential in developing a strategic approach to scaling a brand.

Take Smart Risks

The biggest lesson from Decker’s approach is that it includes implicit permission to fail. Experiment results are not guaranteed, so there must be an overarching message from retail leaders that it’s ok to test an idea, even if it doesn’t work out. Testing ideas allows retailers to see fallacies; sometimes, the outcome is far different than expected. That must be ok.

Deliberate scaling requires strong leaders who have a big vision for the brand—and can listen. Leaders who listen—to their teams, to their customers, to their colleagues—bring a level of open-mindedness about how, where, and when to enter a market. That open-minded approach lets them find the magic of retail; opening new locations comes with a variety of unanticipated challenges.

The Dos & Don’ts of Strategic Scaling

As we examine what works in today’s retail industry, there are good examples of what brands should do to scale deliberately, and examples of scaling fails that occur because of haphazard approaches.

The Dos

Vineyard Vines is a great case study of what brands can do to scale successfully. The leadership at Vineyard Vines is critical to its success. Brothers Shep and Ian Murray are hands-on founders, ensuring that when consumers walk into a store, they feel the EDSFTG (“Every Day Should Feel This Good”) lifestyle their brand embodies. The brothers have a clear vision of success for their brand, know exactly what their brand stands for and how to communicate it, and have a detailed understanding of their customer base.

The Murray brothers wanted to dominate their target market of suburban Boston market before expanding elsewhere. This start-small approach allowed them to expand thoughtfully while maintaining strict control of the brand. For Vineyard Vines, examining existing stores and lease agreements led to renegotiations that put money back in the company’s pockets to invest in smart expansion.

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If you’re exploring how to scale effectively, we welcome the chance to connect. From data-backed real estate strategy through experience design and store construction, we help brands win at retail.

The Don’ts

Even before the recent class-action suit against H&M, accusing them of misleading consumers about their sustainability practices, the company was struggling. H&M parent company CEO Karl-Johan Persson blames the retailer’s financial turmoil on “changes in customer behavior [in H&M’s physical stores], as well as “imbalances in certain aspects of the H&M brand’s assortment and composition (Forbes),” forcing it to close 170 stores. But that behavior change, along with the changes in the industry, offered indicators that, had H&M been more proactive and flexible it could have responded more quickly.

What About DTCs and Strategic Scaling?

As DTC brands lean into the retail landscape, they also must consider carefully how to scale their brands strategically. Thoughtful consideration of the why and how, combined with the right data to know where and when, becomes even more critical when attempting to scale the brand regionally or nationally.

Purple, a leading DTC brand, first tested pop-up stores before investing in more than 100 retail locations with goals to continue to scale their brand both with their own stores and through partnerships with furniture companies like Raymour & Flanigan.

In an interview with BedTimes Magazine, it’s clear that leadership plays a strong role in the success of the scale. CEO Joe Megibow recognizes the magic of having a product no one else has but everyone loves. “Purple has made a meaningful difference in [customers’] lives,” says Megibow. “Our job now is to scale the heck out of our operation so that we can meet rising demand and satisfy even more customers.”

“Purple has made a meaningful difference in [customers’] lives…Our job now is to scale the heck out of our operation so that we can meet rising demand and satisfy even more customers.”

So What Does Thoughtful, Strategic Scaling Look Like?

In an interview with Inc. Magazine, co-author of Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less Robert Sutton, explains, “Companies grow well and scale badly when they focus on running up the numbers, but not the quality. They get bigger and start to look like just any organization. And there goes the value.”

The author reminds brands that scaling is about more than growth, advising brands “to spread not just a ‘footprint’—their geographic and market presence—but also a ‘mindset’—the deeply ingrained beliefs and behaviors of their people.”

Thoughtful, strategic scaling may look different for each brand. What worked two years ago will not work today. Retailers need to meet customers where they want to be. Growth, without a strategic scaling strategy, can result in the dilution of the brand and a homogenous feel.

However, when done properly, strategic scaling starts with the right data—data that is relevant to the brand, its existing locations, its customers, and its goals. The market changes so much that up-to-date analysis, in-depth insight about customers by market, and flexibility are all crucial.

Connected Wellness: Healthcare as a Retail Opportunity

Connected Wellness: Healthcare as a Retail Opportunity 1440 428 ASG

The pandemic impacted the healthcare industry much the way it did education and retail; it helped accelerate technology out of necessity. Not only did the wearable device industry grow, but our idea of what health care can look like has changed considerably too. 

Now, we log in to our computers to talk to our doctors rather than spending time in waiting rooms; we upload our own health stats from our wearable devices rather than having a nurse take our blood pressure and pulse. In a world now reliant on self-service connected wellness, the healthcare industry is ripe for evolution. Here’s a look at how retailers can take part in the health revolution and what is driving changes in the industry.

What’s Reshaping Healthcare?

An aging population – According to SeniorLiving.org, “From now until 2030, 10,000 Baby Boomers each day will hit retirement age. Millions will begin to officially retire, collect social security checks and go on Medicare. Other Boomers will keep on working either out of financial necessity or out of some less tangible need like identity and self-worth.”

Telehealth convenience – Due to the pandemic, technology has advanced rapidly in the healthcare space out of necessity. 

“While the surge in telehealth has been driven by the immediate goal to avoid exposure to COVID-19, with more than 70 percent of in-person visits cancelled, 76 percent of survey respondents indicated they were highly or moderately likely to use telehealth going forward, and 74 percent of telehealth users reported high satisfaction,” according to McKinsey’s 2020 Healthcare Report.

The wearable trend – It isn’t so much about the wearables as the data. Consumers have access to their own medical data more than ever, which allows them to be more proactive in caring for themselves.

“With 76% of adults age 50 and older indicating a desire to age in place, voice-activated tools, such as home assistants and home health-care technology (emergency or virtual care) are relevant potential purchases for them. If offered a choice, over half (53%) would prefer to have their health-care needs managed by a mix of medical professionals and health-care technology,” according to AARP.

Creating New Health and Wellness Experiences

Today’s retail consumers want personalization and convenience, and health and wellness retailers have an incredible opportunity to deliver high-quality, personalized, and convenient care to consumers. Doctors’ offices can learn how to create a patient experience that earns loyalty and satisfaction by looking to retailers’ offerings. 

Like retail, medical providers must customize the entire experience—patients want to have access to information, manage their own care, choose whether they come in to see the doctor or have an online appointment.

Think of patients as customers who want to have a consistent experience no matter how they choose to engage. If they chat online with a nurse, they expect the nurse to have the same information the doctor would if they were in the room with the patient’s medical file. But more than just consistency, patients are looking for ways to be more proactive in managing their own health.

Retail Health Clinics

Since the early ‘90s, when retail health clinics began opening, consumers have benefited from—and come to expect—the ability to seek non-emergency medical care outside of business hours. It’s clear that consumers want the same kind of convenience with their medical care that they receive in other areas of their lives. Healthcare providers who offer convenient, local care are not only popular among consumers but also are expected to see major growth. 

Self-Service Healthcare

As a multitude of wellness wearables, connected health devices and apps are developed, there could be space for an Apple Store-like offering for a health-care device shopping experience akin to the Genius Bar. 

Empowering consumers to manage and monitor their own health could eventually mean they can use a wearable to obtain information, like an EKG on the go. That could free physicians to focus on treating patients in need while simultaneously giving more people the power to be proactive about their own health.

Health Meta—Taking Telemedicine to the Next Level

Industry watchers’ speculation about potential partnerships between retail and medicine is exciting. Think about existing retailers like CVS and Walgreens, who already provide vaccines, fill prescriptions, and offer blood pressure screenings. What if they were able to extend those medical partnerships to create a one-stop telehealth shop? The future could see patients who meet with telehealth doctors in Walgreens or CVS for proactive screenings, upload their data from their wearable devices and do a little shopping while their prescriptions are filled. 

Incorporating Health and Wellness into Retail Design

Incorporating health and wellness into retail spaces can also enhance the consumer experience. Healthcare retailers can win customers by offering wellness products in-store and providing wellness experiences, such as massage chairs, meditation rooms, or spaces to host conversations on wellness topics.

“It’s not just about a breadth of product options, it’s about continuous wellness support for the consumer’s home, workplace, workouts and lifestyle. Create dedicated sections for healthy morning rituals (smoothie makers, lunch boxes, yoga mats), daytime products (working, running errands, exercising) and evening needs (sleep aids, organic cotton sheets, dream journals),” according to Medallion Retail.

As innovation drives the health and wellness revolution, design will take center stage. Design impacts the patient experience, drives patient retention, and enables health providers to empower patients to be more proactive about their health. 

The possibilities are endless.

Layered Construction: The Challenges in Retail Design

Layered Construction: The Challenges in Retail Design 1440 428 ASG

Opening a new store is essential, whether a brand is opening their first or their hundredth. A new store builds excitement, embodies the relationship between the brand and their customer, and showcases what’s new.  Those brands that choose design-driven concepts have the advantage to ensure a unique experience that also performs in the marketplace. So imagine the frustration and expense, both in capital and sales, that occurs when store openings become stalled at every turn. 

The World Has Changed.  

The variables that drive retail design have changed dramatically. And it’s not just labor shortages and supply chain issues; every step, from location decisions, lease negotiation, early concept design, through to how one structures the build team can now be a challenge and needs to be considered more thoughtfully as a whole than ever before. 

“The complexity of the system eats itself alive if one part fails,

explains Ed Hofmann, Partner of Design and Strategy at ASG-Chute Gerdeman. “We find ourselves navigating decisions that spread across multiple layers and choices – literally as an extension of the Brand’s in-house group.  For instance, the ability to move with real ‘speed’ is now contingent on the ability to navigate thru 10 – 12 decisions at once, supported by only partial information.  You don’t know everything you need to know, so we are more and more relying on instinct, strong back up plans, and our relationships to move at pace.

Vendors are wanting more up front, work is taking longer, so we are value-adding where we can, for instance, helping clients on the tenant negotiation side to suspend leases or postpone payments due to uncontrollable delays. We place a lot more emphasis on streamlining the work leading up to the construction so that the build can go as efficiently as possible, such as separating the interior and exterior builds if we must – it creates 2 permitting tracks, but it allows work to continuously move forward, rather than being totally stalled.”  

Clients Crave Control

Clients know what they want for their store designs, but they are frustrated, simply by the lack of control. Delays are increasing due to factors out of the control of both the agency and the client. These delays don’t just add to frustration but increase spending on construction and payroll. Delays in opening lead to lost revenues. 

Neither clients nor agencies can defeat the supply chain, but the situation is causing clients to lose confidence not only in the agencies with whom they work but with their own internal teams and their vendors as well. And vendors, who are either protecting themselves or simply unable to move quickly enough due to the supply chain, are driving up wait times and increasing costs.

“It used to be you got to choose 2: good, fast, or cheap….but now it includes a 4th variable: just getting it done, and you’re allowed only one mistake,” says Hofmann.

Layered Construction in Design

On the execution side, layered construction is becoming more common to help overcome the challenges of supply chain and labor issues. But these challenges aren’t just happening with the storefront. A retailer may not be able to get the correct fixtures or all of the fixtures they need, so a layered approach is being used to help keep the client moving toward opening. 

Clients may be able to have some of the fixtures installed and use alternates for the rest while they wait for the remaining fixtures. They’re making do with what they can get – literally buying things off the shelf, at second-hand stores, or recycled from other locations as placeholders until the real elements arrive. 

For example, if the space has been designed with certain color-themed rugs that you can’t get right away, they find something that works, place it in the store, open the store, and then replace it when the actual items arrive. And it’s not just rugs – it’s light fixtures, window glass, paint colors, display tables, shelving – it could be anything. Now imagine the scale of that when it is multiple locations or multiple elements. Just to get the store open, the design team might have had to get fixtures at West Elm, Arhaus® Outlet, Wal-Mart, or even Amazon, as the first layer and then later, come back and add in the desired elements. 

Managing the Customer’s Experience 

This obviously isn’t the optimal approach, because the design is part of the experience for customers walking into a newly-opened location. In order to manage this “layered” experience will require finesse and transparency. So how the retailer positions the design choices they make will influence how it is received by consumers. 

The key to a successful layered construction approach comes down to closely following the brand intent, that powerful story, with thoughtful, perhaps temporary substitutions, back up plans and complete transparency with the client and often the end consumer.  The relationship between Brand and the people that love them is paramount – it’s our job to protect that and find a way to go above and beyond, delivering unique and powerful connections, sales, and memorable experiences. 

An Era of Layered Construction

An Era of Layered Construction 1440 428 ASG

It’s tough to be a retailer trying to open new stores right now. Everyone is experiencing high costs, lack of materials, logistical issues, and labor issues. One of the hot topics at the ICSC convention this year was the idea of layered construction. Layered construction allows the retailer to open sooner, albeit not in the ideal state. Layered construction is the outcome of more than two years of pandemic-related supply chain and labor shortage issues that show no real signs of letting up any time soon, which have only been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

What Is Layered Construction?

Layered construction is an approach to launching a new location in the midst of all the construction industry challenges currently besetting the industry. It can take much too long for a brand to realize the ideal design for a new location due to shortages or wait times for materials, labor, and partner resources, so they sacrifice or alter the design to help facilitate progress towards opening. This can look like many things, but basically, it means implementing a new prototype in layers. For example, a store has a new, beautiful storefront design, but the design requires certain materials which are not accessible for 22 weeks, despite sourcing locally or looking for custom-made solutions. Waiting 22 weeks for the materials isn’t feasible when the store needs to be open for customers now, so the design is built in layers. Often, this means creating an alternative to the prototype that can be built immediately, then returning later to update with the correct materials when they’re finally available.

Drawbacks of Layered Construction

For retailers, the design of a location is a significant piece of the branding. By opening without having the design elements in place, they risk losing that all-important customer experience element that drives loyalty and return visits. However, this is the world everyone is living in right now. While it adds complexity to the construction and design build, it’s important to move forward, even though there may be a slower response to what should be a great store experience.

Even with these drawbacks, because labor and supply chain issues are having such a significant impact on construction schedules, retailers who want to open more quickly are using a layered construction approach to be able to open their doors to consumers even before the elements of their retail design are complete. It’s not a perfect solution, but when handled properly, it can be a way for retailers to more quickly.

Processed Have Changed

Processes have changed dramatically, and because most of these things are completely outside the control of the agency and the client, it becomes a matter of adjusting to the changes, communicating them effectively, and adjusting internal processes to accommodate the changes. For example, permit times have doubled in the last year.

“Speed is no one’s ally”

explains Liz Seitz, ASG’s Store Planning and Construction Leader. “What used to be a 6-8-week timeline, is now 20 weeks in some scenarios.” What agencies must do to help assuage the frustration for clients is to perform due diligence and organize everything prior to construction to make the process quicker and more efficient to execute.

Agencies must be vigilant, keeping their eye on the swiftly changing environment. “As soon as one lever opens up, another one, down the road we never expected, shuts,” says Seitz. Sometimes, Liz explains, it’s important pump the brakes earlier- talk to vendors and ensure construction schedule will align for everything to come along as scheduled.

“Companies will do anything to get into their space,” says Seitz. “They will literally rig their HVAC to make it into their space quicker.”

Globalization is Challenged

For years, the industry has relied on globalization as a solution that delivered cost-effective materials. Now, sourcing materials are part of the challenge. Could anyone have possibly predicted that just as we were coming out of the worst part of the global pandemic that a war would break out? Ukraine may be a small country, but it is pivotal politically and geographically for both food (Ukraine is a major wheat supplier) and oil (most of Europe imported oil from Russia and have stopped because of the invasion.

“None of us expected that after covid, another massive global crisis would emerge,” says Seitz.

Global struggles have a direct effect on US construction in some fashion, and all these factors make it more difficult to consider offshore manufacturing, at least in the short term. Complicating matters is that fewer and fewer people in America can actually put things together.

It’s the agency’s responsibility to have everything organized, to simplify the process and make the job simpler for vendors, contractors, and partners, but that’s far more difficult to do when everything is so much more unpredictable.

Supply Chain Woes

As with so many other industries, the construction industry has been plagued with supply chain issues. These issues are now compounded by a backlog of projects, a new infrastructure bill, and pent up demand for projects that were put on hold during the pandemic. These supply chain issues are impacting every phase of construction, and lead times are growing, exacerbated by the labor shortage in the trucking industry that moves the materials.

Labor Shortage

According to the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) organization, the construction industry needs 650,000 additional workers on top of the normal pace of hiring in 2022 to meet the demand for labor. In 2023, ABC says the industry will need to bring in nearly 590,000 new workers on top of normal hiring to meet industry demand. The labor shortage is compounded by a tattered supply chain. It’s not just that there are labor shortages in general. It’s that the labor shortages are hitting blue-collar jobs, so even when the store is finally able to get the materials, they may not be able to find enough people to do the work, whether it’s installing fixtures or painting, or specialized services like plumbing and electric.

Alternative Buildout Matters

One of the wonderful specters we see in retail over and over again is a willingness to be flexible, to switch gears, and to change directions in order to keep moving forward. It’s one of the most invigorating reasons to be in this industry. There are many creative and innovative options rising to the forefront to make it easier to complete construction as expected.

“Just as we’ve seen new store formats or logistics solutions in response to the pandemic, businesses are becoming more adaptable and flexible overall in response to a new normal. Those that are prepared to make the most of this will benefit in the long run if any other supply chain issues arise.” said Tom McGee, president and CEO of ICSC, in an interview with Costar.

Some of the alternatives being considered include:

3D Printing

3D printing is becoming an innovative way forward in retail design construction. There have been entire buildings manufactured from 3D printing, and it’s offering retailers who need to open sooner a way of moving forward without losing all the elements of their design. According to Construction Dive, 3D printing is more cost-effective and projects can be completed much more quickly.

Using Different Materials

Even though lumber prices are starting to fall, the overall cost of construction remains higher than expected. Many retailers are seeking out alternative materials to be able to complete their projects, whether for construction or for interior design elements.

Local Sourcing

There has been an increase in demand for materials manufactured in the U.S. in order to shorten the supply chain. While this may not be a permanent solution to the issue, in the short-term, it allows construction to move forward with both construction.

Prefab

Robins & Morton makes the argument for prefabrication to ease the supply chain issues, reduce costs, and overcome labor shortages: “Once dismissed by skeptics as a risky idea destined to diminish construction quality, prefabrication is now universally embraced as an industry best practice. Companies in all building sectors are investing in it, clients are intrigued by its savings potential, and the field staff is integrating it in ways that will forever change the traditional supply chain in construction.”

Using Existing Construction

Not only can it be cost-effective to use an existing building and transform it for your brand, but it can ensure you get the location you want. Demand for prime locations is growing rapidly but given the cost and delay in constructing an entire storefront, the investment in retrofitting an existing location can be worthwhile. It can even be inspiring.

At the end of the day, suggests Seitz, you have to set the tone early and understand the client’s priorities. Then use your experience to develop forward-thinking design that is flexible enough to withstand the current industry climate.

Social Segmentation: Connecting & Marketing in Modern Retail

Social Segmentation: Connecting & Marketing in Modern Retail 1440 428 ASG

The data every retailer relied on to connect with consumers before the pandemic must be reevaluated. Today’s consumer – the post-pandemic consumer who was isolated at home for several months, learned to rely on others to choose their groceries and deliver them, and refurbished their homes while shopping online – are not the same consumer they were before the pandemic. And more than ever, demographics are no longer an accurate predictor of consumer behavior on their own. Consumer behavior crosses gender and generational lines in ways retailers have never seen before. As we think about analytics and strategy, fully understanding a consumer requires demographic, psychographic, and social analytics. In fact, social segmentation has become an influential piece of the puzzle.

According to Synchrony, “In a world where consumer behaviors have been turned upside down, businesses have to rethink what loyalty looks like — and create new paths for building and maintaining customer loyalty for the long term. Smart brands are on it: finding ways to adapt technology, social media and other tools for the current environment while still leaning into the human elements of incentives, rewards and personal connections that sustain loyalty over time.”

Social as Part of the Shopper Journey

Rachel Lloyd of Green Room discussed the social retail trend in Retail TouchPoints:

“…despite the fact that most customer journeys start on social media through product discovery, there will always be a huge desire for people to experience brands in real life. Humans have an inherent desire to come together and connect in social settings. Yes, the rules of retail are changing, but the human needs and desires that retail fulfils are not.

But in order to survive, the store’s connection to the brand’s wider digital ecosystem is now absolutely vital to ensure that a dialogue is maintained long before a customer goes in-store and continued long after they leave.”

So as retailers find new ways to “adapt technology … while still leaning into the human elements…” social media rises to the forefront of the new way to not only connect with customers but learn about them. Consumers are turning to social media more than ever to explore and connect with brands. The search for and discover of products online fulfills a sense of adventure for consumers – it’s like being on a quest. And consumers are eager to share their discoveries and take pride in being the first to know about an unknown brand.

So while most consumers still want that in-store experience, for brands to get consumers to walk through the doors, they need to be accessible on social and paying attention to what their customers want. In other words, even as retail continues to change, the need for human connection and in-store shopping isn’t going away. Social retail is the connection brands need – and the way forward for more intelligent marketing.

The Need to Move from Demographics to Social Segmentation

Retailers currently have an enormous opportunity to connect more authentically and more effectively with their customers. In combination with actual physical shopping behavior and historical data, brands have an opportunity to leverage social sentiment to guide how they move forward. In fact, a social view is critical now to form a complete picture and guide retail strategy. By incorporating social listening and social segmentation, it’s possible to gain a more holistic picture of today’s consumer and how they’re interacting with your brand.

Moving Beyond Demographics

Retailers have historically lumped customers into targeting groups based on demographics. Messaging and advertising, maybe even product mix, became based on age and generational characteristics. People of a certain age were in specific stages of life. 20-somethings were starting families and buying homes. 30-somethings were making home improvements and raising families. 40-somethings were thinking about things like investing and insurance. 50-somethings were becoming empty nesters, focusing on travel and retirement planning. It was concrete, and everyone was following along with their age group in terms of life stages. Now, we have 80-year-olds graduating from college and 40-year-olds having their first child. Millennials aren’t even thinking about buying a home until they’re in their late 30s – if at all – and consumers across all demographics are spending their dollars with brands and companies whose beliefs and behaviors align with their own.

Benefits of Social Segmentation

In building the case for social segmentation as a strategy for better consumer engagement, consider these statistics:

  • 77% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media over one they do not (Social Media Today)
  • In 2020, over 3.6 billion people were using social media worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025. (Statista)
  • 71% of consumers say it’s important for brands to raise awareness and take a stand on social issues. (Sprout Social)
  • Half of worldwide marketers have turned to social listening to understand consumers’ changing preferences during the pandemic. (eMarketer)

In the past few years, retailers have learned to be quick to pivot because of how rapidly consumer sentiment can change. Using social signals gives retailers a deeper understanding of what consumers want – and how they want to buy. Instead of relying on what has happened in the past, a social view provides context around what is influencing buyer behaviors in real-time. Benefits include:

  • Increase Customer Lifetime Value
  • Improved customer engagement
  • More cost-effective customer acquisition
  • Improved omnichannel/integrated experience
  • Significant improvement in anticipating customer needs, wants, and behaviors

How Can Retailers Use Social Segmentation?

Customers are more than their demographics. Social listening allows brands to identify not only consumer sentiment – toward brands and toward social issues they care about – but also can help brands measure what consumers say online against their actual behavior as consumers. And it allows brands to customize and personalize their messaging. For example, if consumers are talking about sustainability, a brand can tailor messaging with social segmentation around sustainability efforts. If they’re concerned with diversity and inclusion, the brand could then create content around the efforts they’re making in DEI. Knowing what is important to customers is crucial to building and maintaining loyalty for every brand.

Brands Doing It Right: Leveraging a Social View to Create Better Experiences

Understanding customers in real-time through social listening and targeting customers based on social segmentation rather than demographics can help brands connect more authentically with their consumers.

Target

Target is so good at attracting customers to their stores that they have their own entry in Urban Dictionary. They incorporate a variety of marketing strategies, an in-store shopping experience that makes people want to be in their stores, and partnerships with brands people love but in limited quantities that create FOMO – the “fear of missing out.” Their social media effectively connects them to their customers and explain that they try to post what their customers want, not what they think they should post. They incorporate user-generated content in their social media and website, from sharing shopping experiences posted by customers to reviews to answers about products on their website provided by users.

Sephora

Sephora uses a variety of social listening tools and social segmentation to reach their customers. They’ve recently been highlighted by Wall Street Journal for how they are using social media to share their purpose. In the interview, Suzanne Kounkel, CMO of Deloitte US says, “Organizations are seeking to demonstrate to all stakeholders—from customers and employees to partners and investors—why their companies exist and how they make an impact beyond profit.”

Gymshark

Gymshark, which we recently named a DTC brand to watch, is in part having success because of their approach to social retail. Not only are they leveraging influencer marketing to turn their brand into a household name, but they are using social listening to more accurately target their customers. Giraffe explains, “Gymshark is a key player in knowing your audience and using social media channels in a hyper-targeted way. For instance, Gymshark owns 3 different Instagram accounts (@gymshark, @gymsharkwomen and @gymsharktrain) all with different goals and purposes.” Maybe conducted an in-depth analysis of how Gymshark used social media to listen and connect with consumers here.


Social Retail Connects You with Your Customers

Social listening provides more accurate and up-to-date information than typical historical data and forecasting. And by using social signals, retailers can more quickly adapt to changing sentiments. Most importantly, however, social signals provide a cross-section of data that moves beyond generational demographics and allows a brand to align with consumers and use social segmentation to deliver more impactful experiences. With the great wealth transfer well underway, there are invaluable opportunities for companies to listen and learn from their customers in new ways.

The Rise of Lease Management Outsourcing

The Rise of Lease Management Outsourcing 1440 428 ASG

A Decline in Institutional Knowledge is Leading to an Increase in Lease Management Outsourcing

Before the pandemic, there were 10,000 boomers retiring every day, taking an enormous amount of institutional knowledge with them. While this has been most noticeable in the healthcare and insurance industries, over the next decade, we’re going to feel it in every industry.

In an article written in 2013 by Dr. Andrew M. Pena, SHRM, he sounded an alarm about the loss of institutional knowledge and its impact on businesses.

“Today, as Baby Boomers prepare for retirement, some Gen. X’ers and many Millennials are not remaining employed in one organization long enough to learn from their older colleagues. As a result, the institutional knowledge, history, and business continuity possessed by the veterans and Boomers might vanish with little or no knowledge being retained by the Gen. X’ers and Millennials. The failure to retain and transfer institutional knowledge could result in a steady increase in employee turnover and further loss of institutional knowledge, translating into higher costs and lower institutional efficiency.”

Fast forward eight years, factor in a pandemic, a significant labor shortage, and more than a year of “The Great Resignation,” and the threat of institutional knowledge losses have increased substantially.

The Generational Divide

Because Boomers have worked longer and are retiring later, Gen X and Millennial employees, in many cases, have not had the opportunity to rise through the ranks as quickly. As Boomers now begin to disappear at an alarming rate, they are leaving behind very inexperienced replacements who have had much less time and opportunity to enter leadership positions. Consequently, these replacements have limited high-level work experience, creating a giant skills gap. The choice to delay having children quickly enough to create future replacements, combined with the shift in attitude about staying with the same company longer than a few years, and the gap and skills shortage will continue to widen.

What Does This Have to Do with Retail?

Retailers often benefit from younger generations working in their stores. Digitally native brands inherently understand what traditional brick -and-mortar brands often fail to realize: The brand is the brand, regardless of how or where the shopper engages with the brand. While operations and other aspects are feeling the pinch on the front end of the talent pool – on the corporate side of retail –a painful loss of institutional knowledge on a regular basis in lease administration – and it is a costly and painful deficit.

Lease Management Is a Negotiation Game that Requires Expertise and Finesse

As experienced lease administrators retire and take with them their considerable understanding of leases, settlement negotiations, and relationship building, their younger replacements simply are not armed with the information and knowledge needed to properly defend contracts and protect their companies. In one instance with a national retail brand, the lease administrator retired. When the new administrator started, he immediately invested in a new system that included a lot of promised bells and whistles. They spent a ton of money on it – and promptly missed a kickout, costing them over $300,000. When we audited the system after taking over, 82% of their expiration dates were wrong.

Why Outsource Lease Management

Outsourcing lease management offers several benefits, including more efficient administration and expertise that saves you money. Outsourcing retail lease management has a measurable ROI. By placing lease administration in the hands of dedicated experts, there is a team proactively seeking opportunities, ensuring you’re not overcharged, and helping maintain compliance.

Lease management is often overlooked as a contributor to a company’s bottom line. But the benefit derived from expert lease management in terms of cost avoidance, negotiations, and credits that can be offset against monthly expenses is often immeasurable.

Outsourcing lease management ensures that you have the best experts handling the second-largest expense item for many retailers. Relying on experts can help transform a game-changing expense item into a hidden profit center.

Increased Efficiency

For many companies, internal lease management is just one of many responsibilities that an employee shoulders, and they often don’t have the time to fully analyze and manage leases. Outsourcing to a company that specializes in lease management can free your employees to focus on the primary duties of their jobs – often allowing the company to realize measurable savings in labor and efficiency.

Expertise

Outsourcing provides your company with depth and breadth of experience that can improve your negotiations and ensure that you do not miss cost savings. Because outsourced lease administrators manage leases across multiple industries and niches, they are familiar with retailers of all sizes, ages, and types. And, they have a finger on the pulse of the industry, staying abreast of and ahead of changes that might impact your costs.

What to Look for in an Outsourced Lease Management Service

When seeking an outsourced provider for lease administration, seek a partner who has:

  • Provided this service for portfolios of all sizes, for retailers that are at the height of success, and for those experiencing their last days
  • Read thousands of lease clauses and has learned to detect the nuance of how they are written.
  • Experience disputing billing errors and demonstrated success in getting revisions for most disputes
  • An in-depth understanding of co-tenancy failures retroactive to previous years
  • The ability to play a key role in obtaining the best possible lease terms for you
  • A demonstrated track record processing billions of dollars in lease-related payments.
  • State-of-the-art technology

What You Should Expect with Outsourced Lease Management

Meticulous Auditing

One of the most essential functions of an outsourced retail lease administrator is auditing. The lease manager should ensure that all your lease documents, dates, and detailed information about your leases for each property as accessible. They should meticulously audit your invoices and conduct regular reviews to ensure you are not overpaying and that all your negotiated concessions are being met.

CAM Reviews

Building operation expenses (CAM charges) are a significant expense and one of the biggest areas in which there can be errors. When you work with a retail lease management partner, they can often save your organization more than what you pay for the service provided.

Preservation of Institutional Knowledge

If you rely on one or two internal lease managers, and one or both leave or retire, it is almost impossible to replace that industry knowledge. By outsourcing to a firm with a specialty in lease management, you get depth of experience without the risk of the loss of institutional knowledge.

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