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Retailers bet big on click-and-collect programs

Is all of this innovation translating into big changes in the way that typical shopping centers operate? Not so far, argues Sandi Sigal, President and CEO of Woodland Hills, California based NewMark Merrill Cos., which owns and/or manages 70 retail properties throughout California, Colorado and Illinois. In recent months, the CEO says, more retailers have asked Newmark Merrill to set aside parking spaces for click-and-collect orders, but these spaces – usually two to four at any given property – are rarely filled, at least not for now. Sigal says, “We’re not seeing an incredible level of demand,” he said. “But that’s OK – this is a feature like a drive through window at a pharmacy, or a swimming pool at a gym: “it’s an amenity that says, “Hey, consumers, we’re open to reaching you in any number of different ways.” Rewriting a few lease clauses to allow for parking-lot pickup spaces creates no major headaches for landlords, says Sigal. Indeed, he lauds grocers and discounters for their eagerness to compete with Amazon.com and position themselves for the future. “Unlike other cycles, where big companies missed the ball – and, certainly, in retail we had companies where that happened – they’re doing the right thing.” Sigal said. “They are being ultra responsive to what they see as trends. “

Original article by Joel Groover in Shopping Centers Today