The use of Wi-Fi and mobile marketing to target smartphone users while they are at shopping centers can drive customer engagement and sales. Using Wi-Fi technology that's already in most shopping centers allows retailers to eliminate the need for registration pages and apps while providing promotional offers, directories and loyalty programs while shoppers are already onsite. Retailers can then use data captured from shoppers on patterns and insights to gauge future product and marketing methods.
Wal-Mart will start offering online shoppers in the Ottawa area of Canada the option of picking up grocery orders of $50 or more at one of 11 brick-and-mortar stores. The retailer has 400 stores in Canada and already offers a separate click-and-collect service for non-perishable goods at 55 stores.
U.S. retailers added 26,000 new jobs in May and 33,000 in June, driving total retail employment to about 15.7 million. "I do believe retail sales are better. Retailers don’t anticipate too far ahead. They put more people on payrolls when they see the foot traffic," said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz.
Private-equity firm Sycamore Partners is reportedly considering a bid of between $3 billion and $3.5 billion to buy Charlotte, N.C.-based department store chain Belk. The retailer, which has 300 stores in 16 states, hired Goldman Sachs in April to help it explore strategic options.
Global issues such as Greece's financial problems and trouble in the Chinese stock market may encourage investors to stick with government bonds, Daniel Kruger writes. Stagnant wages in the U.S. may also create enthusiasm for Treasurys, Kruger writes.
Washington REIT has acquired a three-building apartment complex in Northern Virginia for $167 million. It plans to add a fourth building that will bring the total number of apartments to more than 1,000.
Seritage Growth Properties will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. The REIT spinoff from retailer Sears Holdings expects to raise about $1.6 billion from its rights offering.
Duke Realty's industrial development pipeline is robust, with the company having planned $400 million to $500 million in projects in the past two years. Much of that is low-risk, build-to-suit activity, with some limited speculative work, said Denny Oklak, chairman and CEO. The sector has strong fundamentals, with Duke's in-service occupancy rates at nearly 97%, he said.
Today's market offers few bargains, but commercial property is a good investment given yields, said Tom Stevenson, Fidelity investment director. The best way to invest is through a closed-ended fund, he said.
National Health Investors has acquired three senior-living communities with 413 total units in a $67 million sale-leaseback deal with affiliates of East Lake Capital Management. The properties are located in Indiana, North Carolina and Tennessee, and they include 205 independent-living, 137 assisted-living and 71 memory-care units.