J.C. Williams Group, a leading retail and marketing consulting firm, and Environics Analytics (EA), the premier marketing and analytics company, today announced the launch of MallMix, a new service to help leasing managers create the optimal tenant mix in malls and shopping centres. Based on the values, spending levels and shopping style of consumers in a trade area, the data-driven methodology is designed to maximize the assortment of stores for any location in the U.S. and Canada.
To explain the new service’s analytical foundation and the unique insights it can provide, the International Council of Shopping Centres will host an hour-long webinar about MallMix on Wednesday, May 14, at 2:00 PM EDT. Please register here ($45 for ICSC members, $95 for non-members).
The launch of MallMix comes at a time when the risks and costs associated with operating, developing or renovating a shopping centre have never been higher. Costs can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars, and success is never guaranteed—especially when faced with fickle customers and challenging economic times. By understanding and providing what their target buyers want, developers, asset managers and leasing agents can reduce the risk inherent in large-scale retail projects.
MallMix helps enhance shopping centre performance through a three-part analysis. First, to define the target audience in a trade area, analysts identify the unique shopping style of area consumers—whether their tastes are traditional, contemporary or avant-garde—using EA’s PRIZMC2 segmentation system and select Social Values. Next, they determine the spending levels of area customers on key categories of goods (such as men’s, women’s and children’s apparel and footwear) using EA’s HouseholdSpend dataset. Finally, analysts from J.C. Williams Group classify current stores by shopping style and price point—examining factors such as sales, merchandise style, store design and product pricing—in order to highlight opportunities for improvement.
“We appreciate the opportunity to work with one of North America’s preeminent retailing experts to help develop new products for the industry,” says Jan Kestle, founding president of EA. “For the first time, leasing agents have a data-based methodology to create a retail mix that reflects the lifestyles and shopping patterns of consumers in their trade areas. With MallMix, senior management, leasing and asset management teams get a never-seen-before analysis of mall productivity that relates directly to a specific property and the surrounding area.”
The heart of the MallMix methodology is a series of matrices that allows analysts to compare actual sales at current stores to the market expenditure potential for specific retail categories. The data-based analysis helps mall managers and leasing managers determine the ideal store mix, provide fact-based projections to attract specific retailers and develop marketing campaigns targeted to current and prospective customers to increase revenue.
“With MallMix data and analysis from J.C. Williams Group and Environics Analytics, industry executives can make better decisions and develop concrete action plans for the best possible tenant mix strategy,” says John C. Williams, president of the J.C. Williams Group. “The analysis also allows mall managers to help prospective tenants tailor their merchandize or service offering based on the consumer mix within their target market.”
MallMix can be used for any size development, according to J.C. Williams Group and EA executives. “From local shopping centres to large, regional malls, all retail developments have an ideal store mix,” says Kestle. “MallMix takes the guesswork out of the equation and reduces the risk of not aligning retailers to the population being served. It’s a win-win: Customers get the stores they want, and retailers get the customers they need.”