Guest Blog by Thom Blischok

The 2012 holiday season is going to be one of change. The old pattern of rushing out for the impulse buy is giving way to a growing trend of patient, cautious shopping, with more options for getting great deals enabled by technology, according to a recent Booz & Company 1,600-person survey. The one constant in 2012 is the “lens of affordability.” Every shopper Booz & Co. talked to or surveyed indicated that his or her buying decisions will be determined by affordability. Shoppers will be buying gifts they need more than gifts they want.

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By Russ Gager

The differences in luxury retailing were highlighted during a tour of three major high-end shopping malls on Chicago’s “Magnificent Mile” – Michigan Avenue – at the conclusion on Oct 2 of the 2012 Research Connections conference held by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Tour attendees were given guided tours of the malls by representatives of their management companies. First up was The Shops at Northbridge, which uses its innovatively designed mall to draw shoppers from the pricey rents of Michigan Avenue to the Nordstrom that anchors the rear of the mall, which is located one block behind Michigan Avenue on a street with more reasonable rent.

Guest Blog By Marty Gallant

In the consumer goods industry, securing premium retail placement is one of the primary concerns for distributors as well as manufacturers. Often, it is the only obstacle keeping companies from reaching the next level. With an economy at rest, the opportunities for optimum retail placement have shrunk, and competition has increased. Vitamins are one of the more difficult consumer goods areas to navigate in the category of chain drug, mass market and grocery stores.

Guest Blog By Dana Warszona

The evolution of retail has hinged around the ability to buy and sell goods in the most efficient way. Today, it’s all about consumers and ensuring their shopping experience is engaging, seamless and convenient. Shoppers have higher expectations and retailers must find ways to continue improving customer service in the store – especially during peak periods. In response to this demand, retailers are deploying mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) technology as a strategy for improving customer satisfaction and streamlining in-store operations. Motorola Solutions conducted a survey among the retail, hospitality and field service industries that revealed the interests and experiences with the use of mPOS.

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By Russ Gager

Although shopping centers and malls may be built out in the United States, there still are opportunities to renovate them and take them more upscale through the addition of new tenants and improved amenities, David Contis, president of Simon Property Group told the 235 attendees at the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) at the 2012 Research Connections conference at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago Oct 1.

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