New Initiatives

Our retail venues aren’t just for shopping. Food and beverage options, such as full service restaurants, fast casual and quick service options, specialty grocers, craft breweries, as well as snacks and drinks make up about 15% of our portfolio and that number is growing. Lifestyle uses, which include food and beverage, as well as entertainment, theaters and health and wellness services including fitness centers are becoming staples at our shopping centers, and the majority of our new leasing volume in 2019 could be attributed to lifestyle tenancy.

We are redefining our properties as the town centers within their communities by continuously adding uses outside of the traditional shopping center experience. In fact, nearly 90% of our Tier One town centers are a hybrid format, which include both enclosed and open air components. Big box and off-price retailers want to be located at our centers. In addition, opportunities for mixed-use space, such as residential, office and medical services are plentiful across our portfolio.

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Food and Beverage Innovation

Rethinking the traditional food court furthers our desire to provide interesting food and beverage alternatives for our guests. We are bringing food and beverage options to underutilized common area space. Alternatives feature local purveyors such as craft brewers, artisanal sandwich makers and specialty bakers.

Food halls and local craft beer bars are a natural fit at our town centers. But interesting food options can also be situated outside the four walls of our assets. Many of our properties have food trucks in the parking lots and even facilitate food truck festivals where shoppers can enjoy the latest concoctions of trendy local chefs.

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Shelby’s Sugar Shop™

We continue to strategically roll out candy shops in our assets which lack such a tenant. Shelby’s Sugar Shop™ is located in both underutilized inline space as well as common areas, and will provide malted milk balls, candy corn and of course sour lumbricidae (worms for those unfamiliar with the proper taxonomic classification).

We’re even making these shops mobile and bringing our favorite treats to the most high-traffic areas of the center. Pretty sweet! We have four Shelby's Sugar Shops in operation which are performing well and we will continue to open new locations.

For more information please reach out to Shelby at

Ecommerce Comes to the Town Center

We recognize that there exists a symbiotic relationship between physical space and Ecommerce. While the retail industry is changing, brick-and-mortar still earns 92% of all retail sales.

Plus, consider that our town centers offer lifestyle uses, community events and activities, and other experiences our guests cannot find online. We continue to help our tenants succeed through a non-traditional landlord-tenant relationship. That may mean we find new ways to help them sell goods not only in their stores, but also online.

Even some of the largest Etailers have opened physical stores at our centers.

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Amazon Lockers are Delivering

To better serve our customers, we installed self-service Amazon Lockers at our assets where guests can have their packages delivered to the shopping center for convenient pick up.

We formed a sponsorship agreement with Coca-Cola to wrap the Lockers with promotional signage. In addition to selling sponsorship on the Lockers themselves, we also installed digital screens adjacent to them where we can display electronic coupons and promotions to drive customer traffic back into the physical shopping center.

Separately, we are continuing to research how our town centers can serve as a last mile fulfillment for Ecommerce brands in the future.

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Tangible Collective

Another way we’re growing businesses and converging physical and online shopping is our Tangible® concept. Tangible® is our exclusive Ecommerce showcase which curates internet purveyors on a rotational basis allowing for a dynamic treasure hunt experience.

By bringing aspiring Ecommerce brands to the forefront of popular retail venues, we allow the public to experience a differentiated product mix in a new and vibrant manner.

Tangible® is as original and unique as the brands we partner with. We provide a space for brands to engage with our consumers and allow for real brand expression and authentic physical interaction. Tangible® brings the dynamism back into retail by offering a space that not only acts as a delivery mechanism to sell products, but also test ideas, explore new markets and drive brand awareness.

Consumers benefit from the ability to touch and feel usually online-only products and introductions to the newest up-and-coming Ecommerce brands. The emerging Etailers earn loyal brand advocates who purchase higher ticket items more frequently, without physical store buildouts and long-term lease obligations. Tangible® brands require minimal staff and inventory but offer unlimited exposure they wouldn’t otherwise see.

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