CBM’s Retail Shopping Center Management & Leasing Blog

Retail Real Estate News & Trends in Southern California

Published by DDBC News, Mach/April 2012

No let-up in sight for Hispanic foods

The expanding appetite for Latino cuisine among non-Hispanic Americans, combined with the rapid increase in the U.S.’s Hispanic population, will be a boon for the $7 billion Hispanic food and beverage market, helping to drive sales to $10 billion in 2014, according to Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S.: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine, 4th Edition, the
latest market research study by publisher Packaged Facts.

Along with population growth, buying power within the Hispanic population is expected to increase significantly in the next four to five years. Packaged Facts projects that the buying power of Latinos will reach $1.3 trillion in 2013 up from $984 billion in 2008, representing a cumulative growth rate of 31 percent. In addition, Hispanic shoppers spend significantly more than other groups on food consumed at home, due to the importance of family mealtime and larger family units.

Packaged Facts separates the Hispanic food and beverage market into three segments: Mainstream Mexican (tortillas, salsa, tacos, burritos, nachos, refried beans, Tex- Mex cuisine, and other products that have become part of the American culture); Authentic Hispanic (products either imported from Hispanic countries to the U.S. or products made domestically that use traditional recipes); and Nuevo Latino (products with south-of-the-border flair, including traditional American foods made with Hispanic ingredients, as well as unique new creations that meld a variety of Hispanic flavors and food traditions).

In particular, Authentic Hispanic and Nuevo Latino are garnering substantial sales boosts from America’s population of adventurous food enthusiasts known as “foodies.” The demand has caused new Hispanic food products to be produced by manufacturers seeking to increase variety to meet the American appetite for new and different options. Foodservice operators are also creating innovative and exciting dishes to keep up with consumer demand.

“All three segments of Hispanic food are becoming increasingly available throughout the U.S. due to expanded distribution through both retail and food service outlets and expanded awareness of these products as a result of mass communications on television and the Internet about Hispanic foods and cooking techniques,” says Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts.

“The fact that the Hispanic population is expanding beyond traditional enclaves in California, the Southwest, Florida, and major metropolitan areas like New York and Chicago to communities which previously had either no Hispanic presence or only a small one further benefits the market.”

As the 4th edition of a popular Packaged Facts title, Hispanic Food and Beverages in the U.S.: Market and Consumer Trends in Latino Cuisine investigates the primary factors driving sales in the market. In addition to covering packaged products sold in various retail outlets and developments in the retail marketplace relevant to Hispanic foods and beverages, this report includes information about foodservice sales through a variety of channels such as fast food outlets, sit-down restaurants, mobile units, and more.

Foodservice coverage focuses on those outlets that are owned and operated or founded by immigrants from Latin American countries or Hispanic-Americans and which feature exclusively or predominantly Hispanic menus. The report also includes coverage of the expanding presence of Hispanic foods and beverages in traditional American food service outlets. For further information, visit the Packaged

I think we can all agree, graffiti really sucks, right?

  • It makes your property look horrible – driving customers away and hurting current tenant’s business, in addition to discouraging new potential tenants from leasing a vacant space in your center – which hurts you bottom line and decreases the value of investment.
  • Results in fees assessed by the city for non-compliance with anti-graffiti ordinances
  • Ties up and wastes your time or your property managers time (and money) with constantly trying to arrange for vendors to visit your property and paint over graffiti – that seems to reappear as soon as it’s painted over.

Well how about eliminating graffiti from the equation, while at the same time dressing up your shopping center’s exposed and bare walls with lush, green and gorgeous faux ivy?

If this sounds like the ticket for your center, then you’ll love this…

Ingenious Graffiti Prevention Method!

The Claremont California based company Ivy-It manufactures industrial strength (read heavy duty, waterproof, wear resistant and built to last) faux ivy designed to cover the bare and exposed walls of commercial, office and retail buildings, in an effort to both beautify these properties exterior and deter graffiti.

Learn more about Ivy-It in this informative article publised in the LA Business Journal.

By SCToday Week, March 16, 2012

Americans spending more on pets
Americans are splurging on their pets, presenting a growth opportunity for retailers. Spending by pet owners on food and supplies, medicine, trips to the vet, grooming and the like grew 5.3 percent from the year before, to $50.96 billion, according to the American Pet Products Association. New pet products and a rise in the number of pet-shop entrepreneurs helped drive the activity, the trade group says. Pet services, such as grooming, boarding and day care, accounted for the largest increase, up 7.9 percent over the year before, to $3.8 billion. The association is projecting that this category will see a larger increase than the others this year, up perhaps 8.4 percent, representing some $4.1 billion. Supplies and over-the-counter medications grew significantly too last year, at some $11.7 billion, up 7.6 percent from the previous year. Pet sales and adoptions are flat, though, says Bob Vetere, president of the association. Some 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to about 73 million homes. That percentage has remained essentially unchanged since 2008 because of the recession, Vetere says. “As the total pet population continues to grow, despite a slower pace, we still see the overall industry expanding year after year,” he said in a prepared statement. “As pet owners continue to treat pets like members of the family, we see positive growth and a response to consumer demand for more products and services which we expect to see through 2012.” The association is projecting an increase in pet spending of 3.8 percent this year, to about $53 billion.

By SCT Week, March 9, 2012

Multichannel retailing advancing, conference hears
For about a decade, retailers have puzzled over how to integrate online and brick-and-mortar sales. A panel at the ICSC Open Air Summit session titled “The Many Faces of Multichannel Retailing” helped show how much closer to reality the effort is getting.

On a South Korea subway platform, commuters can now visit a wall-length billboard designed to look like a line of supermarket shelves at Tesco Homeplus, scanning codes on the products with a smartphone to fill an online shopping cart. Tesco delivers the purchases within a day. “They have designed a virtual grocery shelf to take advantage of commuter wait times,” said panel moderator Valerie Richardson, senior vice president of real estate at The Container Store. “We will use this increasingly, as consumers become more comfortable with all this new digital technology.”

At restaurants in the U.S. and elsewhere, patrons can use customized iPads instead of traditional menus to see the selections, specify preferences and even add items, without waiting for a waiter. Some eateries use these platforms to cross-market certain items from online, such as wine for home delivery.

Vincent Corno, senior vice president of real estate at Saks Fifth Avenue, presented a futuristic video showing other in-store possibilities. In the video, body scanners measure a customer’s precise physical dimensions and display a digital screen showing how a chosen garment would fit and appear on the person and in various colors and prints. “This is all possible now,” Corno said. “But we’re not there yet.” The industry may eventually see sales associates walking the sales floor toting an iPad to facilitate multichannel sales, he says. “We have to tear down old silos and build new practices,” Corno said. “There is so much opportunity, but only so much capacity.”

Richardson cautioned that retailers should stay focused on customer service and distribution channels, and not merely on the rollout of technological toys. “We should be thinking about all of this in terms of how we can help the time-constrained customer,” she said.

Stores need something like a concierge desk manned with people who can help shoppers bridge the various sales channels, said Gerald Divaris, chairman and CEO of Divaris Real Estate, Virginia Beach, Va. “Stores should still be about the buzz, but they should also bring it all together in a seamless holistic experience.” Developers can help facilitate this by helping retailers rethink their business and spatial needs and then incorporating suggestions into the building design, said Jim Okamura, managing partner of Chicago-based Okamura Consulting.

Some companies have already made e-commerce a main growth driver, at the expense of in-store sales, Okamura said. ICSC Chairman David B. Henry, vice chairman, president and CEO of Kimco Realty, noted earlier that the trend of retailers opening demonstration-only store sites such as New York City’s Samsung Experience is only destined to escalate. Retailers still have some finessing to do to integrate online window-shopping with in-store experiences, Divaris said. Shoppers expect to see a brand’s online merchandise on the store shelves when they shop and will often give up when they cannot locate it. “We have to make sure,” said Divaris, that “the experience that gets people into a store is not lost when they get to the store by lack of selection or poor service.”

By SCTWeek, March 9, 2012

Social-media use matures among landlords
The use of social media by shopping centers leveled off last year, indicating that the trend may have matured, according to a survey by research firm Alexander Babbage. The survey of some 1,600 American shopping centers showed that as of the fourth quarter nearly 70 percent of properties measuring 300,000 square feet or larger used Facebook to reach shoppers, and about 55 percent used Twitter, up 20 percent from a year ago in both cases. But much of that growth was driven by Premium Outlets’ introduction of a shared Facebook page in the first quarter of last year.

Through the rest of 2011 Facebook and Twitter use among the shopping centers surveyed grew just 1 percent. Some, such as the mixed-use New Roc City, in New Rochelle, N.Y., actually terminated their Facebook pages in the past year. Babbage says the adoption of social media is likely to slow considerably this year, at least as concerns Facebook and Twitter, the most popular platforms.

Outlet centers now have the largest social-media presence of all retail property types (83 percent use Facebook and Twitter), followed by super-regional malls (73 percent use Facebook and Twitter).

Glimcher Realty remains the most active social-media user among shopping center owners of 20 properties or more. All of Glimcher’s properties have Facebook and Twitter accounts. General Growth Properties, Macerich and Simon Property Group are close behind, with 90 percent of their properties on Facebook and Twitter. Westfield Group has 100 percent of its properties on Facebook, and 56 percent on Twitter.

ICSC’s Western region was home to the most properties on Facebook. Some 75.5 percent of centers in that region use Facebook, according to Babbage, up from 56.1 percent a year ago; 65.1 percent use Twitter, up from 51.5 percent a year ago. The Midwest had the lowest percentage of social-media-active properties — 62.8 percent of properties on Facebook and 50.4 percent on Twitter.

By Western Real Estate Business, March 8, 2012

Los Angeles

A dedication ceremony was recently held to celebrate the completion of Midtown Crossing, a 330,000-square-foot urban retail center in Mid-City Los Angeles. Situated on 11.5 acres at the intersection of Pico and San Vicente boulevards, Midtown Crossing features a 163,000-square-foot Lowes Home Improvement and an 11-bay Metro Bus Transfer Station. Other notable tenants include Starbucks, Panda Express, Wells Fargo Bank, AT&T Wireless and Foot Locker. The retail center was developed by CIM Group.