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CHICAGO

Savvy Retailers Focusing on Omni-Channel Strategies, According to Jones Lang LaSalle

Survey of retailers, distributors and third-party logistics providers reveals e-commerce exponential growth driving multichannel strategies and new distribution solutions


CHICAGO, May 21, 2012 — With 92 percent of retailers selling online, 68 percent maintaining brick-and-mortar stores, and 64 percent utilizing catalogs, retailers are embracing a multi-channel approach to meet buyer expectations and battle for market share, according to Jones Lang LaSalle’s latest research report Retail 3.0: The evolution of multi-channel retail distribution.  In addition, nearly 80 percent of retailers state that online sales have increased in the past five years with some reporting increases of 25 percent or more.

“Shoppers understand that having more information, resources and choices grants them more leverage as consumers,” said Greg Maloney, President and CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Retail. “As such, retailers have become more competitive and nimble by expanding offerings, engineering social media initiatives, and adding flexibility
into their supply chains while striving for greater efficiencies. Retailers must now manage the movement of goods from suppliers and producers to wholesalers to their own distribution centers and store shelves in an environment that is already complex.”

New Distribution Networks
Retail chains are finding it more cost-effective to increase online operations rather than opening more traditional stores, which are requiring an entirely different kind of distribution model. Therefore, retailers are evolving their regional distribution networks with e-commerce distribution centers, even developing separate e-commerce distribution networks.

“More retailers are opening facilities devoted to e-commerce, which requires a different order fulfillment set-up than traditional regional distribution centers as they are  moving individual products, not cases and pallets,” said Kris Bjorson, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Retail/e-commerce Distribution Group. “We’re also seeing that in each sector one retailer is evolving e-commerce faster than others by adding to their e-commerce infrastructure while optimizing their retail store foot-prints for the new economy.”

Technology’s Impact
Just as consumers have been afforded new virtual tools, retailers too are taking advantage
of innovative powerful technology to drive e-commerce and brick-and-mortar sales.

“The web used to be thought of as a place to be anonymous, but increasingly today, identity follows users wherever they go,” said Lew Kornberg, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Retail Tenant Solutions. “It’s allowing for the next evolution in ‘saving the sale,’ where retailers get another shot to sell the good or a similar one if the originally desired purchase cannot or is not completed for any reason.”

Retailers can now also target specific customers or large groups of them anywhere in the world. When a new line is launched, retailers can follow their target demographics to their favorite websites and show them the
new products without wasting dollars common with broadcast advertising.

Other uses of technology retailers are embracing in their multichannel strategy include:
  • taking advantage of POS and e-commerce data in innovative ways such as tracking items looked at when on a retailer’s website and later providing a pop-up ad for the item even if the shopper is on an unrelated site;
  • gaining real-time visibility of product levels across the entire supply chain to keep customers happy in today’s volatile environment; and 
  • leveraging handheld computers and kiosks to help “save the sale.”
Battling Showrooming
Multichannel retailing has brought a new challenge to retailers where consumers visit a store to research, but buy the product on another retailer’s website. While it has become a real concern for retailers, there are multiple ways they can leverage strengths to combat showrooming such as:
  • offer unique bundles that are not for sale anywhere else;
  • work with manufacturers to release products earlier than other retailers;
  • equalize pricing between website and in-store products so the two are not competing against each other;
  • boost loyalty with consumers through product recommendations, special deals for loyal consumers, valuable information and exceptional service; and 
  • create interactive environments to engage consumers enough to drive purchases.
Global Effects
It has been a longstanding trend that U.S. companies have been shifting production to markets with lower labor costs. However, as energy costs rise and labor becomes more expensive in Asian markets, companies are increasing near-shoring and on-shoring. Multichannel retailing has also opened up new markets in both developed and developing countries. While online sales are growing in the United States and abroad, China and Hong Kong are leading the way.

Jones Lang LaSalle Retail successfully manages the largest third-party retail portfolio in the country. Our portfolio is comprised of unique clients and a broad range of retail properties including regional shopping centers, lifestyle centers, strip malls, power centers, transportation facilities and universities along with redevelopment and mixed-use projects. Jones Lang LaSalle offers a full array of retail services to its clients including property management, financial reporting, leasing, tenant coordination, specialty leasing, marketing, research, development and receivership. 
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2011 global revenue of $3.6 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide, including 200 corporate offices.  The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 2.1 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse in real estate with $47.2 billion of assets under management. For further information, please visit www.joneslanglasalle.com.