Visitors to the recently opened Westfield World Trade Center Mall have shown the strongest affinity for three brands: Best Buy, Prada and Zumiez, according to data from Cuebiq. There’s just one problem — or is it an opportunity? Currently, none of these brands are represented in the mall.
The Westfield mall already hosts more than 100 brands, including popular retailers such as Apple, Forever 21, H&M, Sephora and Victoria’s Secret. But the brand affinity data can help the mall operator identify potential new tenants that would do well in this environment.
The Cuebiq report also indicated that BCBG, Coach, and GameStop showed the second-strongest brand affinity in the apparel, luxury and consumer electronics categories, respectively, followed by Dockers, Michael Kors and Verizon Wireless.
However, like Best Buy, Prada and Zumiez, none of these retailers operate a store within the Westfield location. With this data in mind, Westfield could potentially drive more consumer foot traffic and potential sales to the shopping complex if it included these brands.
Data Mining For Geo-Behavioral Insights
Leveraging its intelligence platform and data collection methodology, Cuebiq analyzed anonymous geo-behavioral patterns from visitors to the downtown Manhattan mall for a period of four weeks, from its grand opening on August 16, 2016 to September 16, 2016. The visitors’ geo-behavioral patterns were determined by analyzing location visit data as well as a range of leading brands’ retail and consumer electronic locations.
“Malls can use more data to create a data-driven argument for brands becoming tenants,” said Antonio Tomarchio, CEO of Cuebiq. “Westfield could go to Prada or Best Buy and tell them they have data on a population, which represents a significant chunk of the U.S. population, and it’s showing that it would be better for them to be in that specific location. The idea that commercial real estate development can become entirely data-driven is exciting and a great innovation.”
While these revelations regarding customer preferences may be eye-opening for the Westfield team, this lesson applies to all mall operators or even retailers trying to optimize store space by showcasing relevant brands. Given that technologies such as in-store WiFi, IoT technology and beacons are gaining more traction for retailers, Tomarchio suggests mall operators can marry these technologies with data analytics programs.
“Real estate operators should invest in creating an analytics team and have data backing any proposal to potential tenants,” Tomarchio said in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “This team could produce a fuller picture of consumers visiting malls, and it’s an evolution these companies will have to embrace because competition for leasing space is increasing.”
Westfield Mall Becomes Prime Tourist Spot
Using the Cuebiq data, Westfield gathered a comprehensive picture of its consumers. In its first month of operation, the Westfield World Trade Center Mall saw 53% growth in total visits among tourists, and 33% growth in total visits among locals and commuters. The mall shares space with the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, making it a central and convenient destination for tourists taking a train into the city.
Additionally, the 365,000-square-foot mall is a brief walk from the 9/11 Memorial, further explaining the jump in tourist activity. In fact, foot traffic among tourists was 47% higher than the daily average on the anniversary of 9/11.
And while tourism appears to drive much of this traffic, the shopping complex still serves as a “destination” center even for those closer to the site. In fact, locals and commuters traveled an average distance of 11.2 miles to get to the Westfield Mall, with Sunday remaining the most popular day to visit the center.