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Data sharing between tenants and landlords

April 29, 2021

Can retailers and landlords trust each other with their proprietary data? The continued success of both parties depends on increased sharing of the information each has collected about their customers to boost sales and traffic, experts said during at ICSC’s virtual Tech Connect conference Wednesday.

Retailers may be able to track their customers from the point of sale onward, but they lose sight of customers who don’t buy anything, said Brookfield Properties senior vice president of business intelligence and strategy Meredith Darnall. “What happens when they leave your store? Do they go to your competitor because they couldn’t find what they needed? Or are they cross-shopping other retailers that it might be valuable for you to partner with?”

Brookfield’s leases require tenants to share monthly sales but not transaction-level information, Darnall said, so the landlord works with a credit card company to get market-level sales data. “We can validate what the retailers are finding internally,” she said. Brookfield also analyzes data from on-property Wi-Fi networks to find out how visitors are moving through properties as they make pick up items curbside and in-store.

Large and well-funded retailers have their own diverse data sources, and they’re finding that sharing such data with landlords can help in lease negotiations.

Rite Aid uses internal sales and customer loyalty program data but also has worked with Tango for 10 years to aggregate government data and other sources to make site-selection decisions, said vice president of real estate Tracy Verastegui. Rite Aid is working on a test at 400 urban locations to see how well its own customer loyalty program data matches up to Tango’s data. The drugstore chain also uses ESRI for demographic mapping data; UM, formerly known as UberMedia, for mobile phone data; and Alteryx to pull all the data together into reports, she said. Near announced on Wednesday that it will acquire UM.

RELATED: Check out a host of other data and tech service providers in a recording of the conference’s Tech Runway

Rite Aid uses its data not only for site selection but also to decide how to merchandise individual stores and how to remodel them to appeal to specific customer segments. “We have a lot of new customers coming because we’re a vaccine location,” Verastegui said. “We want to capture them and bring them back in.”

And the exchange of data goes both ways. Rite Aid’s proprietary prescription data came in handy when the retailer needed rent relief during COVID, Verastegui said. Some landlords assumed Rite Aid’s locations were thriving because the company was deemed an essential retailer during the lockdown, but a decline in prescription customers actually led to a decline in traffic at some stores. Verastegui said Rite Aid was able to support its case for rent relief to landlords with that data.

Registered attendees can watch recordings of Tech Connect sessions as the recordings are made available. Watch here.

By Brannon Boswell

Executive Editor, Commerce + Communities Today

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