Publication: Shopping Centers Today

Discounters and Other Innovators are Turning the Global Supermarket Industry on its Head

February 10, 2015

Traditional supermarkets on both sides of the Atlantic are losing market share, thanks to a rapidly advancing horde of competitors seeking to outdo them on price, convenience and quality, experts say. “Whereas once consumers bought all their groceries at one location, this is no longer the case. Consumers are now splitting their grocery shopping across multiple channels – as many as five,” wrote JLL analysts in the firm’s Retail Shop Topic report published last September. “By 2018, traditional supermarkets’ share of grocery dollars [in the U.S.] will have shrunk 300 basis points to 37.2 percent.”

Rivals of all types and sizes surround these chains. The list of competitors includes massive wholesale clubs and supercenters; fresh grocers focused on perishables and ethnic foods; a new breed of small, format stores in closer proximity to shoppers’ homes and geared toward faster, easier shopping; and thousands of food, focused dollar stores, drugstores and convenience stores. Meanwhile, online sales are gaining momentum, as the likes of’ s Prime Pantry, FreshDirect, Google Express, Instacart and Pea pod roll out grocery delivery services in major markets.

In the U.K. the highly efficient German grocers Aldi and Lidl are wooing droves of customers from mainline rivals […]

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Turning Clicks to Bricks

November 14, 2013

The Storenvy Online Market place is a virtual mall brimming with funky fashions and jewelry, nifty gizmos, artisan soaps and other eclectic merchandise from some 52,000 independent retailers. And now this San Francisco-based dot-com which enables shoppers to fine-tune the stuff they see by “envying” the products in the manner of a Facebook “like” – is bringing its user-driven model to the brick and-mortar world. Storenvy’s 1,700-square-foot store opened at the beginning of the year in downtown San Francisco’s Crocker Galleria. Initially, the idea was for a popup shop on a 30-day trial run, bur shoppers at the boutique-focused mall responded so enthusiastically that the plans were quickly changed, says founder and CEO Jon Crawford. “Crocker Galleria came to us and said, ‘Hey, we love you guys and want you to stay,’” he said.

All the merchants in the physical store are popular sellers at, which launched in 2009 and now has upwards of one million registered shoppers. These plugged-in users create detailed profiles and curate the products they peruse by envying their favorite items and merchants and following other shoppers whose tastes jibe with their own. These users spend some $2.5 million in total with Storenvy sellers in […]

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Specialty Retail Revolution

July 23, 2013

A new generation of specialty carts and kiosks is generating big revenues in small spaces.

Back when giant televisions and stereo systems were at the top of shoppers’ must-have lists, electronics chains shelled out millions of dollars for big-box stores manned by oodles of employees. But these days a kiosk staffed with just one person can rake in huge amounts of cash by selling tiny gizmos and accessories. After all, when powerful computers are small enough to put in a pair of eyeglasses – as with the much anticipated Google Glass, the head-mounted device set to go on sale in 2014-who needs all that shelf space? “Size doesn’t matter anymore,” said Don Gregor, national vice president at Canada’s Aurora Realty Consultants. “lt’s profitability.”

And according to the pros, the powerful punch of smaller spaces is just one of many factors contributing to the ongoing vibrancy of specialty leasing in today’s technology-driven, post-recession economy. With their high traffic, low overhead and short-term leases, carts and kiosks are a perfect way for entrepreneurs to test new concepts and otherwise respond creatively to the ever-shifting marketplace, observers say. Thanks to technology, even mainstays of the business are managing to make more money, Gregor […]

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