Retail Environments News
A.R.E.’s popular regional Shoptalk series will be
hosted by major retailers this year, beginning with the
Minneapolis event, which will take place at Target Corp.
headquarters May 10.
After a summer break, the Shoptalk series will return
in the fall, with a special New York City Fashion Week
event September 5 hosted and produced by Lifestyle/
Trimco. Later that month, Shoptalk heads to Dallas,
where Fossil will show off its new headquarters when
they host the event September 27. The following
month, Gap Inc. will host the event at its San Francisco
Now in their ninth year, A.R.E. Shoptalks bring educational and networking opportunities to local markets,
saving both time and travel costs for retailers in those
markets. All ticket proceeds benefit PAVE (the Planning
and Visual Education Partnership.)
The evening Shoptalk events are supported by A.R.E.
member sponsorships. Platinum sponsors for this year’s
series are Grottini, B+N Industries, and Prime Retail.
Gold sponsors are Stylmark, Centiva, Suddath, and Cubic
for Minneapolis; and Suddath for Dallas. City sponsors are idX, Stylmark, CDW Merchants, and Miller Zell
for Dallas; and Stylmark and CDW Merchants for San
Francisco. Media partner for the A.R.E. Shoptalk series is
Retail Environments magazine.
Shoptalk attendance is open to retailers, design firms,
and sponsors only.
For more information on A.R.E. Shoptalks or the Design
Trends Report, contact Karen Schaffner, karenschaffner@
retailenvironments.org. (Preview a few trends from the
report in the article beginning on page 26 of this issue.)
Target, Fossil, Gap to host 2012 A.R.E. Shoptalks
Retail Design Collective brings
new ideas, innovation, and inspiration
A.R.E.’s Retail Design Collective,
scheduled for December 5 to 7, 2012,
will feature a new conference and
showroom format, with an expanded
line-up of both new and returning
This year, temporary showrooms
will be located in private showrooms
throughout the headquarters building, 7 W New York, rather than on
the exhibit floor that has been used
for the past two years.
The conference lineup will change
this year as well, with smaller, more
focused sessions to be held in 7 W’s
Retail Lounge. Rather than one general session each day, there will be
two—one executive roundtable and
a second session on upcoming trends.
At press time, 22 companies had signed on with showrooms for
the 2012 A.R.E. Retail Design Collective: Alpha Display Co. Inc., Alu,
Architectural Systems Inc., B+N Industries, Bernstein Display/MC,
Christine Taylor Collection, Cubic, MG Concepts, Mondo Mannequins/
Sellutions by Econoco, Elevations Inc., Leo Prager, Goldsmith, Holiday
Foliage Inc., JPMA GLOBAL, Lifestyle/Trimco Inc., Manex USA/Manex
France Display, Patina-V, RHO, Siegel & Stockman, Silvestri California,
Visplay, Visual Citi, and Visual Magnetics.
Media partners for the event are Retail Environments, VMSD,
DDI, and Stylus.
For more information on Retail Design Collective, including a link
to participating hotels and registration, please visit www.retaildesign
collective.com or contact Karen Schaffner, karenschaffner@retail
environments.org. Retail Design Collective is also on Facebook and
Crittenden Says: Alternative Inventory Boosts Bookstores
Strong sales in toys, games, puzzles, children’s books, and multimedia
items ensure bookstores will remain relevant as traffic generators in
malls and shopping centers. The liquidation of Borders was not caused
solely by too much competition, but also its failure to adjust to new
technologies and alternatives to print books.
Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Hastings Entertainment are
adjusting by adding new inventory and expanding non-traditional
sections to both stay relevant in a relentlessly changing market
and ensure future brick-and-mortar expansion. Barnes & Noble was
rewarded with its highest traffic counts in five years and a total sales
increase of 5 percent for the quarter ending Jan. 28, after investing
$123.5 million to improve digital technology in its stores and adding
new inventory. Part of the traffic increase came from customers who
bought digital and multimedia items from other retailers but came
to Barnes & Noble to get it installed. Books-A-Million used its broader
selection of toys, games, and puzzles to improve net sales by 10. 7
percent in the fourth quarter.
Despite the pressure from online outlets like Amazon, which have
taken a huge bite out of brick-and-mortar book sales, landlords recognize
the value of a well-run bookstore as a traffic driver and, more importantly,
a customer retainer. The novelty of browsing a bookstore has not worn
off and for every extra minute a customer stays at the center, the odds of
spending money—not only at the bookstore but at co-tenants as well—
As long as bookstores continue to evolve, there’s no reason to suspect
the niche will soon go the way of the video store, which has now become
all but obsolete. Rather, there is growth to be had. Although Borders’
demise certainly prompted some to pin a negative outlook on the future
of the niche, the closures have largely removed any fears of saturation
and instead freed up markets for fresh growth.
(Source: This article appears, in longer version, in the April 2, 2012,
Crittenden Retail Space newsletter. The newsletter is provided to A.R.E.
member companies as part of their membership, and is available to
others on a subscription basis. For more information on this and other
Crittenden publications, visit www.crittendenonline.com.)