Simon Property Group, Inc. (SPG - Free Report) announced that it will expand the Happy Returns services available at its malls to several other locations. This will enable an increasing number of customers to return purchases made online at malls where Simon Guest Services is available.
Notably, Happy Returns already has a significant presence in Simon’s malls. The recent agreement will see the company expanding in additional 16 centers owned by Simon Property.
Using the Happy Returns platform, shoppers will be able to return online purchases made from select retailers to the Simon Guest Services desk, with an immediate credit. Hence, customers can effectively skip the lengthy return process of packing and shipping items. Moreover, refunds can be made faster.
While customers can experience an easy return process, it also provides them an opportunity to find what they need at Simon Property’s retail centers. Notably, this transaction is Simon Property’s trump card — there is a high tendency of shoppers making returns to make additional purchases from malls — thereby boosting mall footfall.
Notably, with e-retail becoming the latest favorite shopping channel, traffic flow in malls has taken a backseat. In fact, with e-commerce grabbing market share from brick-and-mortar stores, retailers are now forced to reconsider their footprint and opt for store closures, while those unable to match up with competition are filing bankruptcies. Amid these, tenants are also demanding substantial lease concessions, which, however, mall landlords find unjustified. This turbulent environment has cast a pall over retail REITs like Simon Property, The Macerich Company (MAC - Free Report) , Taubman Centers (TCO - Free Report) and Kimco Realty Corporation (KIM - Free Report) among others.
Nonetheless, Simon Property is making every possible move to bridge the gap between Internet retail, and the brick and mortar stores. The company is undertaking strategic measures to help online retailers fortify their physical presence. And the well-planned expansion of the Happy Returns services to other locations will enable online brands, with insignificant physical presence, to better serve customers.
In addition to the above, the company recently announced that comfort-focused lifestyle brand — Tommy John — will expand its retail footprint by opening a store at the SouthPark shopping mall in Charlotte, NC. The physical store development will be helped by Simon Property through its New Business Team which assists online brands to transition from 'Clicks to Bricks.’ (Read more: Simon's SouthPark Mall Picked for Tommy John's Next Store)
Currently, Simon Property has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The stock has rallied 10.8% over the past three months, outperforming the industry’s growth of 8%.
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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