Westfield Corporation’s Upcoming Projects in 2017 and beyond


Westfield Corporation is a fast expanding shopping center behemoth with international interest. According to an excerpt published on Cityam.com, the Australian based retail landlord spun off its Australian and New Zealand operations in 2014 to focus on international expansion strategy. The Australia and New Zealand entities are now owned and operated by the Scentre Group. In December 2015, the company announced a net profit of $2.3B (£1.65B). Westfield Corp owns a portfolio of over 30 shopping centers in the US and the UK, with assets under management amounting to about $30B. The company also has $10.5B worth of development in the pipeline.

Some of the recently completed projects include the $250m shopping center owned by Meyer Begman, a leading European investment group. According to the Westfield Corporation’s website, the company will continue to improve and redevelop its existing centers as well as acquire new sites to establish frontier markets. The proposed shopping centers are planned in London, Milan, San Diego, San Jose and Century City in Los Angeles. In 2015, the Westfield kick started projects worth $2.5B, among them the largest shopping center in the UK. The $600m development of Westfield London will have a total of 450 stores once it is completed in 2018.

Westfield’s co-chief executives, Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy, said: “The performance of our pre-eminent portfolio remains strong and we continue to make significant progress on our development program.”

The transformative Westfield Century City project in LA will have Nordstrom as its flagship store. When it is completed, the project will offer over 420,000 sq ft of premium retail space with entertainment spaces, 5-Star customer amenities, street side boutiques, open air cafes and chic restaurants among other enticing offerings. The Westfield Milan project in Italy, on the other hand, is projected to become one of Europe’s premier retail destinations. The mammoth development will incorporate high-end retailers and feature luxe dining facilities and leisure amenities. The project will be constructed on 60-hectare parcel of land adjacent to Linate Airport.

In terms of foot traffic, the Westfieldcorp website reveals that a total of 400 million customers visited shopping centers owned by the company in 2014, generating a total of $16 billion in sales. The centers built by Westfield aim to enhance productivity, strengthen the franchise value and create incentives that will attract world’s leading retail brands and franchises. The company also focuses on ensuring the centers play an important role in building the social and economic fabric of the host communities. To guarantee building quality and excellent shopping experience, Westfield Corp manages all aspects of its building design, construction, leasing and property management.

Snapchat Files for IPO After Huge Revenue Numbers in 2016

Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc., formally filed to go public on Thursday, offering the first official look at how the mobile app’s ad business is doing.

Last year, Snap Inc. made $404.5 million, up from $58.7 million in 2015. The large jump has a lot to do with the fact that Snap Inc.’s business, which centers around Snapchat, is still very young.

Snapchat opened its advertising business in October 2014, and that business accounted for 96 percent of its parent company’s total revenue last year. Snap Inc. also made money from sales of its video-recording sunglasses, Spectacles, but said that Spectacles “has not generated signficant revenue.”

Of the revenue that Snap Inc. generated in 2016, $365.0 million was generated directly by the company, and $34.9 million came from partners, like publishers who sell ads to run in their channels within Snapchat’s Discover section and share the revenue with Snap Inc. In 2016, the company paid out $57.8 million to content partners, such as Discover publishers, up from $9.6 million in 2015.

Snap Inc.’s revenue has grown at a much steeper rate than its flagship app’s daily user base. By the end of 2016, Snapchat’s revenue had grown by 589 percent, while the five-year-old app’s daily user base had grown by 48 percent year over year to total 158 million people.

Source: Marketingland.com

The Important Relationship between Businesses and CSR

Corporate social responsibility has been around for decades and has been quite effective in holding companies accountable for their actions. Today, corporate social responsibility is more important than ever before. To be clear, corporate social responsibility includes such actions as product donations, pro-bono work, financial contributions, eco-friendly practices, employee community service days and many other ways businesses can give back to their communities.

Positive press and social media coverage

There are several ways corporate social responsibility coexists effectively and wonderfully with businesses such as providing positive press and reputation building. One example of providing press and reputation building is positive press and social media coverage; especially when it demonstrates good ethics, good environmental steps and positive actions toward human rights.

Corporate social responsibility appeals to consumers

Another reason why corporate responsibility is so important is because of its appeal to consumers. Consumers are constantly patronizing businesses that are supporting values they like and approve of. Research has been done which shows that most consumers are willing to pay a higher price for products that are sold by responsible businesses.

Talented professionals are drawn to corporate social responsibility

In addition, talented professionals are also driven to a business that is committed to improving the world. In the last decade, potential employees are looking more carefully at businesses that match their core values. Corporate responsibility also leads to greater employee satisfaction and retention.
Corporate social responsibility is inspiring!

Most importantly, corporate social responsibility also inspires other businesses to do the same; both locally and on a global scale. Corporate social responsibility provides other businesses to work with other businesses; which often leads to sustainable relationships, while also contributing to the greater good. Mannatech (https://www.facebook.com/MannatechInc/) is a prime example of a company that has successfully incorporated social responsibility with their Mission 5 Million project where they help children in need receive proper nutrition.

To conclude, corporate social responsibility has been around for decades and has been quite effective in holding companies accountable for their actions. Find out from your HR department about the positive effects of corporate social responsibility!

1 Light Street Grows in The Middle of the Inner Harbor

The Inner Harbor area of Baltimore is one of the most exclusive and beautiful areas in America, and it grows every year with new projects that bring forth the majesty of the area. A new project at 1 Light Street will be a glass structure of immense scale, and it will offer office accommodations to companies who wish to impress. This article offers a look at what will happen at this skyscraper rises the heavens.

#1: The Glass Building Will Gleam For Miles

The building will rise over 400 feet in the air with all glass panels, and it will terminate in a sharp corner in the middle of the Inner Harbor district. It is reminiscent of the building that splits Broadway from 42nd in New York, and it will offer offices to several businesses who wish to rent there. It is a prime location marked by prime beauty on all sides.

#2: The Old Parking Lot

The old parking lot in that location will be torn down for the artist’s rendering to be made true, and the city will partner with the developer to help bring in new tenants. Adding business to the Inner Harbor makes Baltimore a better hub for business, and the city will have more businesses ready to come to the area to start new offices.

#3: Why Glass?

The Freedom Tower in New York is a new inspiration in the world of architecture, and it is quite a lot of fun to watch as light hits it every day. The smaller building in Baltimore will not stand on the same scale as the Freedom Tower, but it will have the same sort of appeal. It brings light to the middle of the city in a time when all of America is in turmoil. There is a certain amount of hope to be found in the building, and it will be a place that people can look to when they want to see what the future may hold.

Baltimore is a rising city once again as it improves its Inner Harbor, thanks to developers like Madison Marquette. The area is rife with shopping, dining and entertainment for everyone, and it is now home to a beautiful new office building. 1 Light Street will serve as a starting point for other projects in the city, and it will help grow the profile of an American coast town that wants to be back on top again.

Four Women Who Break the Mold

People still constantly say it is a man’s world when it comes to business. According to IWPR.org, women make eighty cents to man’s dollar and this is true across the board. How, then, do women begin to feel powerful and rise above this sobering statistic? Here are four women who rise above and made it to the Fortune’s Most Powerful Women.

Julie Sweet was Accenture’s general council and Chief Compliance Officer for five years before becoming the Chief Executive Officer in June of 2015. She transformed the company by investing in areas that are really popular right now, such as cloud computing and cyber security. On top of that, she went public with their gender and ethnicity breakdown, making Accenture the first consulting firm to do so. Another item on her agenda was letting new parents work remotely for the first year of their child’s life.

Jackie Soffer serves as the co-CEO of the major real estate development firm, Turnberry Associates, alongside her brother Jeffrey. Turnberry’s properties include major properties like the Fontainebleau Miami, Aventura Mall, Destin Commons, and Turnberry Ocean Club Residences. In addition to her position at Turnberry Associates, Jackie Soffer is very active in the South Florida community hosting charity events.

Anne Finucane is the Vice Chairman at Bank of America. Like Sweet, she gained her title in 2015. She is the only female to make this rank out of all major banks in the world. She earned her rights by working alongside the Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan since they were working at Fleet Bank. Her job includes being the main contact with the bank’s shareholders, strategy and marketing, as well as being the head of green lending.

Crystal Hanlon proudly shows off her Home Depot vest as she has for the last thirty one years. Moving up in the ranks she is now the northern division’s president, handling twenty-nine point five billion dollars, and over one hundred thousand employees. Under her vision the company bounced back through focusing on customer service.

Helena Foulks, the President of CVS, has led her company to making seventy-two billion dollars in 2015, up six point two percent. She did so by bringing more people to their pharmacy. They also recently purchased Target pharmacies. In the future, she plans to focus on general merchandising by allowing people to use their mobile pay app and focusing on expanding their makeup section in four thousand stores.

Each of these women exemplify what hard work and dedication to one’s career can do for anyone- breaking through the barrier for women’s equality while making a mark on their own industries.

Westfield Labs & R/GA Ventures Hold Demo Day for their Connected Commerce Accelerator

More than 90% of the startups fail within the first two years of operations. The reasons for failure can be multi-fold. However, the most common mistakes made by startups are bad financial planning, an unclear roadmap, poor vision for success, lack of experience in executives and managers, not understanding markets & future trends, and lack or mentorship. However, tomorrow’s big companies are today’s startups and it is very important to keep the startup ecosystem healthy and prosperous. Startup accelerators such as R/GA play this pivotal role of mentoring and training fledgling startups and bringing them up to speed. Their business is to grow their clients’ business.

Westfield Labs was opened with the vision of unifying online and physical retail in order to give the customer a complete shopping experience. In the digital age, a large number of customers browse products online before the make purchases in the store and vice versa. Thus a holistic experience makes a lot of business sense and ensures a larger share of wallet. Co-CEO of Westfield Corp (Westfield Labs’ parent company) Peter Lowy stated recently at a UCLA economic summit  that “consumer behavior habits have changed dramatically and permanently” and he promoted the power of mobile and other technologies to draw consumers to physical locations and to streamline their experience with retailers both in person and remotely.

R/GA recently concluded the R/GA Connected Commerce where they joined hands with Westfield Labs as partners. The aim was to mentor 10 start ups looking to redefine the retail experience with the help of Westfield Labs as well as other sponsors including industry bigwigs like Verizon, Walmart, BOA, Macy’s, Intel, and Makerbot. The Startups benefited from the numerous round tables conducted with these industry leaders as well as the guidance and consulting from R/GA. With the help of this program, the startups are expected to take an accelerated and well defined path to market.

The startups that participated include companies with varied interesting offerings. Agent Q’s offering is artificial intelligence for customer care executives while AxleHire provides superfast delivery service to online and physical retailers alike. Clarifai offers AI using visual recognition, Cordial provides a machine learning powered messaging system and Darkstore solves more inventory and logistics problems by optimal utilization of the brick and mortar space. Happy Returns is another one that tries to marry e-commerce with physical shopping by providing in person return facility to online shoppers. Myagi is making the life for sales executives easier while Oak Labs is trying to connect multiple stores on a single platform. Percolata utilizes sensor data to decide on sales force requirements and reply.ai is a bot management platform.

After the three month long program, all 10 participating startups took center stage on October 26th to showcase the products and services offered by them to investors and partners.



Marriott has Launched a Digital Magazine Focused on the Millennial Audience

When Arne Sorenson became Marriott’s CEO in 2012, he shifted the brand strategy to target next-gen travelers. A year later, the hotel giant created a website built for millennials, TravelBrilliantly.com, and now Marriott has evolved that site into a digital magazine of the same name.

“Travel Brilliantly is something that millennials may not think of instinctively” when thinking about Marriott, said Michael Dail, vice president of global brand marketing for Marriott Hotels at Marriott International. “The whole mission of the brand is around our guests being innovative, creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. Our role is to help them on their journey.”

The site will feature long-form quarterly content that aims to give readers insight on travel through an editorial lens. “We’re not trying to be Buzzfeed; we’re not trying to always be on social content providers,” said Dail. “We want to have a purpose and some thought leadership that’s appropriate for the brand.”

In its inaugural edition, dubbed “The Curiosity Issue,” readers will find interviews with Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, as well as partner content from TED, art/tech company VSCO and female entrepreneurial firm Create & Cultivate. The brand partners will also host the content on their sites.

Source: Campaign US

Designer Rebecca Taylor Opens Boutique in Miami’s Aventura Mall

Aventura Mall in Miami will be welcoming a new luxury boutique to its glittering roster: that of designer, Rebecca Taylor. The mall is run by Jackie Soffer of Turnberry Associates and is located on Miami’s affluent Biscayne Boulevard, is home to many high-end retailers, and is one of the largest shopping centers in the country. The addition of a Rebecca Taylor boutique is exciting news, both for Aventura and for Ms. Taylor.

Though this will be Rebecca’s first store in Aventura’s Miami complex, it is the ninth such endeavor for her. She is the proud owner of three stand-alone boutiques in New York, along with locations in Atlanta, Scottsdale, Los Angeles, Newport Beach and White Plains. Taylor had had the desire to launch a store in Miami, previously considering Bal Harbor Shops and Miami’s Design District, as possible locations.

The shop will be on the first floor, close to Macy’s, and will feature 1,400 square feet of retail space. It will offer the designer’s ready-to-wear collection, along with products sold exclusively at the Biscayne Boulevard location, her collaborations in limited-edition, along with her newly-launched line of denim-wear and casual — LA VIE Rebecca Taylor.

According to Kristin Mueller, the Chief Retail Operating Officer for JLL, Miami is home to one of the most, ‘coveted retail markets in the nation’. This is because the revenue earned per retail square foot, Mueller adds, is the highest anywhere in the country, averaging at $768 per square foot.

The mall is currently undergoing a building project to expand its size by an additional 241,000 square feet, an undertaking that will also include a parking garage. This is not the first such addition, as the center originally, in 1983, was only half the size of what it became in 1997, with the addition of a Nordstrom and a three-tiered wing.

Overall, the center boasts a total square footage of 2.7 million and in the United States is the third largest mall, behind Minnesota’s Mall of America and Pennsylvania’s King Of Prussia Mall. Aventura features both fine cuisine and sweet shops and is home to a Godiva Chocolatier, and a Sugarfina. Diners can enjoy succulent steaks at The Grill On The Alley, sushi at Sushi Siam, or Pasta at Bella Luna. Brands like Givenchy, Cartier, Brooks Brothers, Porsche Design, Tiffany & Co., and Emilio Pucci are all featured at Aventura.

NY Times Names A.G. Sulzberger Deputy Publisher

The New York Times brought a new generation of the Sulzberger family into its top ranks on Wednesday, naming Arthur Gregg Sulzberger the deputy publisher. The appointment positions him to succeed his father as publisher and chairman of The New York Times Company.

Should he ascend to that position, Mr. Sulzberger, 36, would represent the fifth generation of his family to serve as publisher since the family patriarch, Adolph S. Ochs, purchased the newspaper in 1896.

The selection of Mr. Sulzberger comes at a crucial moment for The Times, converging with a shake-up in the newsroom leadership and the impending release of the so-called 2020 Report, a blueprint for reconfiguring the company for a digital and mobile future. Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, is currently reviewing a draft of the report and is expected to release it in some form in a matter of weeks.

Continue reading here.

Source: nytimes.com

Are Man-Made Lakes the Next Big Thing in Real Estate?

Less than two decades ago, a golf course was a must have for every real estate developer that sought to raise the value of their property. Nevertheless, their proliferation in almost every neighborhood has reduced their significance in the market. But Crystal Lagoons, a Miami Based Company, seeks to replace this golf course saturated market with a more interesting feature, the man-made lakes.

This idea seems to have been well adopted by some of the leading real estate moguls. For instance, earlier in the year, Steve Wynn expressed plans to convert the more than 38-acre golf course behind his two luxury hotels in Las Vegas into a man-made lake using Crystal Lagoon’s technology. This ambitious plan also involves the erection of a 10-story mountain at the middle of the lagoon to be used as a launching base for nightly fireworks.

Turnberry Associates is the latest addition to the list of large companies that have announced plans to employ Crystal lagoon’s technology. Just recently, Jackie Soffer, the company’s co-chairman and also wife of real estate developer, Craig Robins, hinted that the company’s wish is to build two 10-acre pools in their next mega mixed-use property project in Miami. Jackie Soffer is optimistic that the pools will attract luxury home buyers seeking change in the golf course saturated market.

Crystal Lagoons was established about a decade ago by a bio-chemist cum real estate developer, Fernando Fischmann. According to Fischmann, the idea was as a result of frustration by the Pacific coastlines that rendered beaches useless as the constant rough tides turned swimming to a dangerous affair. Initially, Fernando hoped to create an ocean front to his Chilean community. However, realizing the viability of the project, he decided to commercialize it effectively bringing beaches and oceanic feel to the cities.

So far the company has built over 60 lagoons all over the world. It is important to note the appreciation the technology has received considering the huge number of deals the company is closing even at the relatively huge costs of $250,000 per acre of the man-made pool. Currently, the company reported that it has more than 250 such projects underway with more than 40 in the U.S alone.

Fischmann is also seeking to expand this project to new markets, especially hoping to reach out to the power companies. He hopes to have them on board by adopting the Lakes as a source of cooling water from the turbines while using the energy generated to desalinate the natural water bodies. With a projected demand of over 14,000 artificial lakes around the world, one might add that the sky remains the limit for Fischmann and company.