"Bricks Meets Bits" Survey Tracks Consumer Retail Shopping Preferences

Petrie Richardson Ventures Updates Evolving Consumer Trends in Retail Purchases

WASHINGTON, DC (August 8, 2016) – Petrie Richardson Ventures (PRV), owner-developer of retail centers Ellsworth Place in downtown Silver Spring, MD, and Woodmore Towne Centre in Glenarden, MD, announced today the results of a large-scale survey examining the influence of evolving social, lifestyle, entertainment and technology developments on Americans’ shopping habits.

The survey of more than 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 revealed what shoppers value most about retail experiences at malls and shopping centers versus online shopping is the actual physical experience of the retail environment – with 85 percent of respondents reporting that holding products or trying on clothing are key to their shopping experience.

Survey respondents also cited the importance of having a range of unique, available retail options, with 84 percent considering access to a wide variety of stores and products as important and 69 percent valuing the active discovery of new stores and products. More than four out of ten want to use more technology in shopping in the “bricks and mortar” store environment.

“Because of the increasing pressure from online options, traditional retail environments need to continue to reinvent themselves,” said Terry Richardson, president and COO of PRV. “The survey underscores that, in addition to offering more technology, retailers can attract customers by exploiting the advantages of the ‘bricks and mortar’ setting: providing hands-on discovery and interaction with diverse product options in a stimulating environment. Our properties – Ellsworth Place and Woodmore Towne Centre – address these desires in providing numerous and varied retail options that shoppers are looking for and the environment that engages them.”

PRV’s Ellsworth Place, a 350,000-square-foot indoor retail center, recently fully leased its anchor tenants with Burlington Coat Factory, Not Your Average Joe’s, Dave & Buster’s, Guitar Center, Marshalls, Michaels, Ross and T.J.Maxx. The retail center provides patrons with complimentary Wi-Fi internet access and is flanked on all sides by entertainment options. In addition to gaming at Dave and Buster’s, Ellsworth Place’s future tenant Guitar Center plans on incorporating live in-store events.

PRV acquired ownership and management of the former City Place Mall in 2012 in a joint venture with Rockwood Capital, and invested in extensive renovations of both the exterior and interior, including improvements to access, common areas, existing tenants and new tenants within a refreshed industrial chic interior architecture.

Woodmore Towne Centre is a 40-acre, 700,000-square-foot mixed-use development anchored by Wegmans, Costco, Best Buy, Petco, JC Penney and a forthcoming Nordstrom Rack, all of which have free in-store mobile applications. The Centre, co-developed with Prudential Real Estate Investors, is 90 percent leased and minutes from FedEx Field, as well as conveniently located at the interchange of I-495 and Landover Road, Rte. 202 in Prince George’s County, with more than 1,000 feet of frontage on the Capital Beltway/I-495. 

Other aspects of the physical shopping experience consumers value at malls and retail centers over online shopping are being away from the home/work environment (75 percent) and getting exercise (68 percent). Large properties with a wide variety of retail options are motivators to visit bricks and mortar stores for 67 percent and new products only available in stores, motivators for 66 percent. Discounting plays a major role, as well, with 82 percent reporting that in-store discounts would motivate them to visit stores and 80 percent to purchase in a store rather than through its website.

While the survey revealed that consumers shop online only 32 percent of the time, more than four out of ten want to use more technology in shopping: smartphone apps that provide on-the-spot discounts, enable them to search inventory, locate the best store to visit and to direct them to the product they want. Another third want to use their smartphones to make purchases while in a store, order food to pick up in the food court and even request additional sizes while in the dressing room.

The online survey of a demographically representative of 1,018 Americans 18 years of age and older, with more than 75 separate questions, was conducted June 30 to July 3, 2016 by ORC International, one of the American Marketing Association’s Top 50 Research Firms.

About Petrie Richardson Ventures
Petrie Richardson Ventures (PRV), founded by chairman Walt Petrie in 2000, is a retail developer in the Mid-Atlantic region with a national reputation for creating successful retail centers and exciting mixed-use properties. PRV currently operates Ellsworth Place in Silver Spring, MD, and Woodmore Towne Centre in Glenarden, MD in JV partnerships with institutional capital partners. For more information, visit www.petrierichardson.com.

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