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Summer 2013 Harnessing the Power of Facebook? What’s Not to Like!

Morguard launches Facebook page solely devoted to their specialty leasing program and the results are already impressive.

Morguard launched a national social media platform, including a Facebook page and YouTube channel, focusing solely on promoting their specialty leasing program. The Specialty Leasing at Morguard Facebook page was created to move the industry forward into utilizing social media as a tool to drive awareness, tenant engagement, prospecting and ultimately revenues. The purpose of the page is to connect with specialty retailers directly (B2B), by providing posts and content that is industry specific, appealing to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

The page launch comprised a redesign, including custom user-friendly tabs (Contact Us, RMUs & Kiosks, Sponsorship, and Temp Inline), so visitors are able to navigate through the key areas of interest.

The Specialty Leasing at Morguard page provides a forum to showcase the successes of Morguard’s tenants, as well as access to valuable industry related content, such as sponsorship ideas, merchandising tips, new products ideas and small business related articles. Specialty retailers, entrepreneurs and specialty leasing managers are able to gain insight and inspiration from the latest specialty leasing trends and concepts across the Morguard portfolio, while engaging with one another in this interactive environment.

To further engage the community, a Facebook contest was launched to increase awareness about the specialty leasing program at Morguard. Specialty retailers had the opportunity to enter to “Win a Month on Morguard”, where the grand prize was one month rent-free at any Morguard property of their choice across Canada. The contest winner, Kurves Brow Bar selected St. Laurent Shopping Centre in Ottawa, ON and as a result of their success, has since signed on for a term at the shopping center. Because of the contest’s success, “Win a Month on Morguard” will now be an annual event.

Morguard is one of North America’s fully integrated real estate organizations, with more than 1,400 dedicated employees and more than $13 billion in Assets under Management. Morguard is a publicly traded company that manages its own real estate portfolio, as well as invests and manages on behalf of third-party institutional and private real estate investors. The diversified portfolio comprises approximately 53 million square feet of high-quality commercial properties, and more than 14,000 multi-unit residential suites.

There’s an App for That

Shopping apps are proliferating almost as much as the number of consumer deals out there. In Singapore, the shopping app ShopGuru aims to target consumers through their smartphones with customized deals for favorite stores. A special ultrasonic device transmits signals that the app can pick up and work with. ShopGuru works through a system of points – users get points even just for browsing deals. If the deals are taken up and purchases made, the number of points accrued increases, which can then be redeemed for a number of promotions. According to e-marketer, driven by the rapid adoption of smartphones, the number of U.S. mobile coupon users will rise from 12.3 million in 2010 to 53.2 million in 2014. And consumers spent six times as much time in retailers’ apps in December compared to a year earlier. Many mall developers including Simon have already implemented company-specific shopping apps such as ShopGuru and widespread usage definitely seems to be more a case of “when” not “if.”

A New Look at Visual Merchandising

Prism Labs, a San Francisco-based startup, recently launched a cloud service that transforms any video camera into a visual merchandising, auditing, and business intelligence tool that can be accessed from any device. This offers unprecedented access and insight to retailers.

Prism Skylabs allows visual merchandising to be conducted remotely, in real-time, and across any number of sites around the globe. Retailers can quickly jump from store to store on their smartphone, laptop, or tablet. You can also zoom in to see privacy-protected images of any aisle, shelf, or display with absolute clarity.

With Prism’s analytics, you can quickly understand the effectiveness of your floor sets and displays. It is easy to see which displays successfully engage your customers. Prism Skylabs provides this information in the form of easy-to-understand visualizations and reports. It helps measure conversion, understand long-term trends, and build and maintain the ideal experience for customers.

Poornima Apte

Poornima Apte is the managing editor for GIFT SHOP, GREENRetailer and Specialty Retail Report magazines. She oversees and executes all editorial processes and is responsible for delivering editorial content for both magazines. To implement the magazines' editorial missions, Apte works with an extensive team of writers and photographers from across the country. She is also responsible for certain online deliverables including editorial content that complements the print edition of both magazines.

Prior to joining Pinnacle Publishing Group in 2006, Apte was Editor-in-Chief for INDIA New England, a bimonthly publication catering to the South Asian community in New England. In her role for the company, she oversaw an extensive editorial lineup featuring a wide variety of news reports and features. Apte first joined the newspaper as a general assignment reporter. Her reporting, specifically on a series of stories about Indian immigrants returning to their home country in the wake of India's economic boom, earned her a national award from the South Asian Journalists' Association at their 2005 convention held at Columbia University's School of Journalism.

Formally trained as an engineer, Apte made a gradual switch to journalism after a stint in technical writing at Abaqus, Inc. Apte enjoys reading and reviews contemporary literary fiction for in her spare time.

Apte earned an M.S. in Energy and Environmental Studies from Boston University and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

Apte welcomes reader input. Please email her at

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