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Editor at Large

Retailers: Go rogue, be mobile-savvy this holiday season

Rogue retailing and holiday promotions are two ways that businesses can capture extra sales this holiday season. Of course, e-commerce, including mobile, also will dominate the playing field.

That's the advice from CBRE Group Inc., the commercial real estate services and investment giant based in Los Angeles and with offices including in eastern Pennsylvania.

“This holiday shopping season is all about thinking outside the traditional retail box,” said Melina Cordero of CBRE in a news release. “Retailers are innovating their store formats and revamping their e-commerce fulfillment systems. Owners are adding new and intriguing stores to their mix. It will add up to a very different and more efficient holiday shopping season.”

A CBRE report outlines four trends for a holiday season that is expected to see a bump in sales. (To get the full report, click here). Quoting the report verbatim, these are the four trends:

-- The mainstreaming of rogue retailing – Shopping center owners and retailers are seeking to entice shoppers with unusual concepts that make each visit different. Those include temporary, pop-up stores and more independent, craft stores. Mall owners such as Westfield Group, as well as several established retailers like Nordstrom Inc., are among those embracing the pop-up format.

-- Expanded e-commerce – Online sales are again expected to outpace in-store sales this season. But what’s not as well-known is who is driving those clicks. Brick-and-mortar retailers dominate online sales, and they’re investing in their platforms to do more. Additionally, mobile commerce has emerged as the fastest growing sector of online sales.

-- Improved logistics beget e-commerce profits – This could be the season in which the technology, analytics, delivery networks and past experience amassed by retailers and shippers coalesce to produce ideal holiday logistics – to the point of making e-commerce profitable. That includes shoring up strategies for minimizing returns of goods bought online and quickly processing those that are sent back.

-- The holiday promotions shuffle – A proliferation of landmark shopping days, from Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to Green Monday and Free Shipping Day, is allowing retailers to spread their promotions and shopper traffic across the entire season rather than just a couple of key days. Many thus can better manage their inventory. Shoppers, meanwhile, tend to dwell longer and spend more absent the hectic crowds.

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