ICSC Panel Recap: Tenants in the Spotlight

Elie Mansdorf, Head of Real Estate at Eden Health, recently joined a virtual discussion hosted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Other featured panelists included some of the most active tenants as they shared their lessons learned from the pandemic as well as their business outlook.

  • Peggy Hart, Sr. Director of Development, West, at Chipotle Mexican Grill
  • Barrington Rutherford, SVP, Real Estate and Public Affairs at Cresco Labs
  • Maria Pope Toliopoulos, VP, Real Estate Strategy at Ulta Beauty

Woman in mask with shopping bags

LESSONS LEARNED INSIDE MAJOR RETAILERS

Hart from Chipotle said the pandemic has put more emphasis on convenience, something their mobile app helped to deliver on, especially in the early days. Chipotle saw a roughly 17% uptick in sales at locations that had drive through lanes and experienced an uptick in mobile pickup orders as well. 

Executives at Ulta said the pandemic accelerated initiatives that were already in place. “Ulta had already leveraged augmented reality and AI to create omnichannel experiences. The mobile app was already in place for users to virtually try on beauty products,” said Pope Toliopoulos. They also experienced a shift in trends, for example, consumers were more focused on eye makeup and enhancing lashes over experimenting with lip colors, and their teams could provide quick pivots to those newer demands versus traditional top sellers. 

Pope Toliopoulos believes some pandemic-era accommodations are here for the long-term. Consumers will still look for curbside signage, buy online, pick up in-store functionality, and curbside pickup. She also believes that customer adaptation was enhanced throughout the course of the pandemic for audiences that aren’t naturally tech savvy (think: QR codes to access restaurant menus). Now that we’ve all become comfortable using tech features like this, these consumer behaviors will continue well beyond the pandemic. 

LESSONS LEARNED OUTSIDE THE OFFICE BUILDING

Eden Health, who uniquely serves both employers and landlords, has become an important partner when it comes to employee health, safety, and wellness. “We’ve been able to create a seamless integration between physical and virtual spaces,” Mansdorf said.

Eden is a virtual-first medical experience but differs from other healthcare concepts — we’re not about how many people we can get in the door, but ensuring that members have access to quality primary care. “Because we can start everything in the app and streamline much of our patient care over the app, we’re on a mission to marry virtual and in-person aspects of care,” Mansdorf reiterated.  

This integration of the physical and virtual spaces is becoming a highly requested feature in the new office building amenity stack. As medical care is expanding and becoming more complicated post-COVID (booster shots, mental health needs, and even physical therapy will be core components of patient care moving forward), Eden stays ahead of the curve with concierge medical services that can be accessed in their home or at the office, wherever they feel most comfortable. 


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