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Deck the Malls with Crowds of Shoppers: Five Strategies to Drive Retail Sales Up 3.9% this Holiday Season

Retailers will need to bring in nearly $10 billion per day to achieve forecasted growth

​ATLANTA, Nov. 18, 2013 – When the holiday season officially kicks off the day after Thanksgiving, retailers will be scurrying to make the most of a compressed shopping season that is six days shorter than last year. In addition to timing considerations, increased competition is also pushing retail operators to re-evaluate their strategies and service offerings this year.  

The National Retail Federation is projecting a 3.9 percent increase in sales this November and December  to $602.1 billion, and to achieve this forecasted growth over last year, retailers will need to bring in $9.9 billion per day. Thankfully, according to a recent survey by Accenture approximately 20 percent of American shoppers surveyed plan to increase holiday gift-buying-budgets by $500.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Retail experts have identified five key strategies retailers should employ this holiday season to capture and maximize their share of the projected sales increase:

1. Ignore the “Official” Calendar: The holiday season drives 20 percent of retailers’ annual sales volumes, and last year, sales were $579.5 billion, translating to approximately $9.5 billion each day. However, this year the critical sales time between Black Friday and Christmas is 19 percent shorter, putting pressure on retailers to attract shoppers earlier. “With fewer official shopping days this season, only 26 to be exact, we expect ‘Christmas Creep’ to expand to new levels. For the first time ever, Macy’s and JCPenney are opening their doors on Thanksgiving, and other retailers will follow suit in hopes of spurring early sales,” said Greg Maloney, President and CEO for Jones Lang LaSalle Retail.

2. Create Almost-Instant Gratification: Jones Lang LaSalle’s Big Box Outlook report projects e-commerce sales will more than double over the next four years, one-third driven by the retail sector. Clearly, Americans have embraced online shopping but they are less enamored with the time it takes to receive their orders. To address this gap, smart retailers will foot the bill to expand store hours and add capacity to fulfil online orders locally in-store. Already, Apple, Wal-Mart, Nordstrom and BestBuy have announced an extension of their online offerings to their bricks and mortar locations so shoppers can order online and pick-up in-store at their convenience. “The demand from e-commerce is shaping the retail landscape more than ever before, and bricks and mortar retailers with locations that double as online fulfilment centers will see an uptick in their sales. Retailers with an online only presence are also rethinking their need for traditional space,” said Lew Kornberg, Leader of Retail Tenant Representation, Jones Lang LaSalle.

3. Drop-in or Pop-Up to Increase Profits: Holiday season short-term deals and pop-up shops present opportunities for retailers to expand their reach and test new markets without a long-term commitment. By securing short-term space in a high-traffic location, retailers can increase exposure to large volumes of shoppers in key markets – without the risk of a long-term lease. Retailers currently looking to capitalize on pop-up shops include: Crate and Barrel, which is opening at least four pop-ups called Tree Lot; Hermes, opening The Silk Bar in Time Warner Center; and Birchbox Local, opening a pop-up at Chelsea Market. Jones Lang LaSalle’s specialty leasing team is on track to execute approximately 5,500 short-term license agreements for its client base. “The holiday season is a critical sales time, and prime, unleased space in shopping centers can drive incremental yields for retailers, and allow them to capture a new customer base. We also expect retailers to test their luck with new product launches through these pop-up shops,” said Tracey Hatley, Director of Specialty Leasing for Jones Lang LaSalle Retail.  

4. Maximize Space to Maximize Sales: Real estate is one of the largest overhead expenditures for retailers, and optimizing space usage continues to be top of mind. Retailers are aligning business and real estate goals so that single storefronts are the gateway to multiple shopping opportunities. Large-format stores are leveraging their space to be one-stop-shops for all holiday purchasing needs, irrespective of how a purchase order is fulfilled. “For retailers, store locations are strategic enablers of business success. Doing more with less is the new normal, so today retailers are maximizing their existing format to showroom goods and keep shoppers enticed. Once a shopper has crossed the threshold, creating an engaging environment to harness their buying power is key,” added Larry Jensen, Director of Development and Operations for Jones Lang LaSalle Retail.

5. Create a Seamless Shopping Experience: Consumers are using multiple channels to cross items off their shopping lists, and 89 percent of buyers consider it important for retailers to make cross-channel shopping easy.  By year end, there will be more mobile devices on earth than people  so it behooves retailers to figure out how to best integrate digital tools to create a seamless, omni-channel shopping experience. If a website takes longer than five seconds to load, retailers can say goodbye to nearly 75 percent of their viewers. “Savvy retailers are more focused than ever on responding to customers’ demands, expectations and shifts in buying strategy. They are optimizing their websites for mobile pre-shopping research and deal surfing, offering free Wi-Fi connections and equipping their staff with tools such as iPads for speedy mobile check-out,” said Julie Rickey, Director of Consumer Marketing for Jones Lang LaSalle Retail.

Jones Lang LaSalle’s Retail Group is a full-service provider of retail services nationwide. The firm offers a wide array of services to its clients, including brokerage services for landlords and tenants, property management, financial reporting, tenant coordination, specialty leasing, marketing, research, development and receivership services. During the last two years, Jones Lang LaSalle’s Retail Group has added nearly 50 retail brokerage experts in major markets including Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Florida, Hawaii, New York, Seattle and Southern California. During the first half 2013, the group added more than 60 new assignments and more than 30 retail clients to its network across the United States. For more information on the Retail platform, visit For more news, videos and research resources on Jones Lang LaSalle, please visit the firm’s U.S. media center Web page. Bookmark it here:

About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate. With annual revenue of $3.9 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle operates in 70 countries from more than 1,000 locations worldwide. On behalf of its clients, the firm provides management and real estate outsourcing services to a property portfolio of 2.6 billion square feet and completed $63 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2012. Its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $46.7 billion of real estate assets under management. For further information, visit