19 January 2016

  • Today at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show, Lowy Calls on the Retail Industry to Leverage Shared Data and Expand Partnerships between Retailers and Real Estate Developers in Order to Drive Competitiveness in a Transforming Environment
  • In Keynote Address, Sir Charlie Mayfield of the John Lewis Partnership, Kevin Plank of Under Armour and Lowy Outline Steps to Converge Physical and Digital Retail to Enhance Customer Experience
  • Westfield is Dedicated to Developing Pioneering Digital Technologies that Help Shoppers and Drive Sales for Retailers

Westfield Corp. (ASX: WFD) is dedicated to working in partnership with retailers at its iconic properties around the world to develop new technologies that converge digital and physical shopping to enhance the consumer experience.

Steven Lowy, co-CEO of Westfield, outlined the company’s vision to bring together the physical and digital retail worlds as one dynamic retail environment in a keynote speech given today along with Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, and Kevin Plank, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Under Armour, at the National Retail Federation (NRF) Big Show in New York.

Turning the Shopping Center-Retailer Relationship on its Head

Commenting on the transforming retail landscape, Lowy told the audience, “Today, the relationship between retailers and real estate developers is designed to open stores and the relationship has essentially ended there. I believe this needs to be turned on its head.” Lowy explained a future that requires collaboration over competition and a new retail landscape that’s built on much richer relationships and fundamentally based on the greater sharing of data and information.

As shopper expectations and desires in both the physical and digital worlds shift, being driven more and more by moments of inspiration in an always-on retail economy vs. strictly in-store or online shopping behaviors, the goal is to bring customers the most unified, intuitive and personalized shopping experience possible. Lowy shared three pillars of future success in the changing retail industry:

Collaboration is the New Competition – Leveraging the Power of Collective Knowledge. Traditionally, the industry has protected proprietary intellectual property above everything else. But the world is changing. “That leaves us with a choice,” said Lowy. “Are we going to continue to be driven by narrow-minded institutional and historical thinking, and watch our revenue suffer? Or are we going to free our data from its silos, leverage the power of our collective knowledge, and create more value for the customer?“

We are Driven by Data. And Data is Driven by Scale.  With collective insight into shoppers’ browsing habits, geo-location and online activity, shopping centers and retailers can make the most of data in real time to seamlessly blend digital and physical shopping experiences. Westfield has already made deep investments in building a digital team, Westfield Labs in San Francisco created three years ago, and now has product development, design, data, analytics and digital infrastructure teams.

Make Experiences Matter – Across the Industry.  Lowy said to retailers, “Imagine what’s possible when we all enhance physical retail spaces and take some of the friction out of physical commerce. Human interaction is still at the heart of what we love to do. When they’re done right, shopping centers can bring people together and give customers experiences that they simply couldn’t have anywhere else. But we also know that digital can create an added element of interest, engagement, and value to the customers in our centers.”

Lowy went on to explain that the company’s significant investment in digital experience included a smart global network that links all Westfield’s iconic centers and allows retailers to seamlessly plug into their shared customers across multiple touch points.

Those who did not attend NRF’s Big Show will be able to find a video of the full keynote session posted on both NRF‘s and Westfield Corp.‘s websites in the coming week.

Westfield Corporation (ASX: WFD)  is an internally managed, vertically integrated, shopping center group undertaking ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities and employing approximately 2,000 staff worldwide. Westfield Corporation has interests in 34 shopping centers in the United States and the United Kingdom, encompassing approximately 6,400 retail outlets and total assets under management of $28 billion.