By Globe St.Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Omni-Channel Retail: Way of the Future

MISSION VIEJO, CA—Successful retailers will embrace and promote both a brick-and-mortar and an online presence, Sentinel Development’s CEO Colby Durnin tells The firm is wrapping up a renovation on a 15-year-old shopping center here called Kaleidoscope, and we spoke with Durnin about the center’s repositioning and what he sees trending in this sector. How are the leasing efforts and renovation of Kaleidoscope positioning this center to be on the cutting edge of what consumers want in a retail center?

Durnin: As we wrap up our renovation of Kaleidoscope, leasing is very positive. We are in talks with three national tenants at the moment. Our tenant mix provides exactly what consumers are looking for today; a true lifestyle center. Kaleidoscope provides restaurants, entertainment, a gym, spa and other retail services, all in a convenient location. How does the prevalence of online shopping mesh with what consumers are going to be expecgting in their shopping experience?

Durnin: We feel that omni-channel retailing is the way of the future. Kaleidoscope, due to its layout and size is optimal for allowing tenants to have a brick-and-mortar presence for both traditional and online pickup.

Sentinel is in talks with three national tenants for Kaleidoscope. What redevelopment trends are you noticing in the retail sector?

Durnin: We are seeing more and more retailers and centers push their web presence and encourage in-store pickup of merchandise. Studies have shown that customers have a higher tendency to impulse buy with in-store pickup over casual browsing or strictly online ordering. What’s the best way for aging centers to breathe new life into their business?

Durnin: People today more than ever are looking for an experience and sense of community. If we can provide a gathering place and an experience, it helps encourage consumers to leave the solidarity of online shopping. Consumers still want to dine out and be entertained, and they have service needs and want to shop for certain items in person. For instance, we recently opened an Ortho Mattress, which is now their largest footprint in Orange County. If you can provide these consumer wants and needs in a convenient and appealing location, you’ll capture the traffic.

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