Changes In The Retail World

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Westfield speciality leasing

The world of retail is evolving – indeed it has been ever since it started. Trends change and new technologies come and go. Each time they do, the nature of retail changes very slightly. Today, with the growth of ecommerce and the rise of seasonal and temporary shopping, it’s becoming more short term and specialist.

Local service

Take Bell the Ice Cream Truck which has opened in Garden State Plaza. Discovered in a local food truck festival, this was taken into the main Westfield Mall and put in front of millions of customers. It was started by Ray Amano who has had 30 years in the ice cream trade and uses a replica of a 1960s ice cream truck he drove when he first started. It’s proved a big hit with shoppers and as soon as it opened the lines began to grow.

Westfield specialty leasing is simply identifying a wider trend. People like the convenience a big mall like this can bring, but they also want an experience which is local and special to that area. Local goods, therefore, are driving a huge growth in retail. Bringing in a truck such as this, direct from the local festivals, is a great way to give the mall a local flavor and a character all of its own.

For the people running Bell the Ice Cream Truck, meanwhile, it is an opportunity to take their small venture onto a whole new scale – with direct access to more shoppers than they could ever have imagined. It’s also a regular spot providing a constant source of revenue.

Retail is changing

This is a very different approach to the old mall booth. It’s agile and imaginative catering to customers’ seasonal demands. The ice cream truck, for example, can clean up during the hot summer months, but it doesn’t have to stick around wasting money in rentals during winter. It can move on, if it chooses, and change the way it does business.

This is going hand in hand with the rise of pop up retail outlets. These small temporary retail spaces are becoming more and more popular in malls and are changing the way we interact with retailers. Ecommerce stores, for example, are using them to have a physical presence and seasonal retailers are using them to hit peak periods such as the Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays. Traditional bricks and mortar retailers are also using them for special promotions with temporary pop ups opening up within stores.

Best of both worlds

Local retailers can also use them to get access to a main street retail space for a limited period of time. Again, it’s combining the best of big business – through the scale a mall can provide – with the best of local trade. Both parties benefit.

They’ve already proven a big hit with shoppers who enjoy the opportunity to have small stores opening up with exciting and temporary offers. As we move into the future, they’re likely to become an increasingly common part of our regular shopping experience.

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