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CBRE: Holiday Retail Will Deliver Pop-Ups, Mobile Commerce, Discounters  

Steven K. Winters, vice president, CBRE Steven K. Winters, vice president, CBRE

SADDLE BROOK, NJ—Shoppers’ growing preference for variety and value will drive holiday retail trends for this season, including an even greater proliferation of pop-up stores, the emergence of “pop-up warehouses,” an expansion of mobile commerce and strength in discount retailing, according to a new report from CBRE.

“While online sales will continue to grow, we’re going to see an increased integration with bricks and mortar, making physical store locations — which many thought were in danger — an integral component of the ever-changing and dynamic omnichannel retail platform,” says CBRE vice president Steven K. Winters. “Retail success is driven largely by demographics, and New Jersey’s status as the most densely populated state ensures that retailers who successfully integrate their brick-and-mortar stores with online and mobile platforms will continue to flourish for the long term.”

CBRE’s 2017 U.S. Holiday Trends Guide outlines four trends shaping this season as it unfolds.

Pop-Up Mania

Short-term retail leases – often called pop-up shops – have evolved from a trend last season to a full-blown phenomenon this season. Retailers, and now retail-center owners, favor the flexibility and experimentation allowed by short-term leases, and shoppers appreciate the variety of a shifting roster of stores. Several of the largest US mall owners have designated space in their strongest properties for pop-ups.

More M-Commerce

It’s no secret that e-commerce is claiming a growing portion of retail sales. What’s less often highlighted is the growth of mobile, or m-commerce; eMarketer forecasts that more than a third of online sales this year will occur on phones and tablets. CBRE expects more widespread use by retailers this year of m-commerce tools for handling customer-service, mobile marketing and facilitating sales.

Dawn of the Discounters

Discount and off-price retailers gained momentum during the 2007 recession, and have sustained it in the years since with a mix of value pricing and treasure-hunt merchandising. CBRE’s report predicts that the category will take additional marketshare this season, spurring mid-market retailers to discount their prices to compete.

Warehouse Space, On Demand

The surge of online sales during the holiday season can create instant, short-term demand for warehouse and distribution-center space – potential headache for retailers trying to ensure prompt delivery to customers. New services have emerged to provide a “pop-up warehouse” model in which demand for short-term industrial space in a given market is matched with suppliers. Early results show higher efficiency and lower costs.

“CBRE has identified these trends by examining public and proprietary data, querying our Retail professionals and listening to our clients,” says Brandon Famous, CBRE senior managing director of retail advisory and transaction services, and retail leader, the Americas. “We see these trends as natural steps for retailers striving to perfect their omnichannel operations for selling across all channels and to enhance consumers’ experiences in each.”

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