Texas ICSC Members Dine with New Mayor of Houston, Discuss Future of City and Its Retail Component

HOUSTON, TX — A change in leadership, such as just happened in Houston with the recent election of Sylvester Turner as Mayor, can have significant impact on the local business community.

With that possibility in mind, a group of ICSC members recently enjoyed an evening of fine dining conversation with the Mayor and his Deputy Director of Economic Development, Gwendolyn Tillotson. Hosted by Point of Sale Outdoor Media (POSO) President, Raymond Rodriguez, and organized with the help of International Council of Shopping Centers Texas lobbyist, Dana Chiodo, the group’s main focus was understanding the Mayor’s challenges and how they relate to the retail real estate industry. The guest list represented a good cross section of the local retail real estate business; in attendance were CEO Mark Cover and Director Michelle Moudry from Hines Realty, Regency Centers VP Abe Pacetti, Brixmor Property Group SVP Michael Axelrad, and Weingarten Realty CEO, and past ICSC Chairman, Drew Alexander, along with Rodriguez and Chiodo.

For its part, the ICSC group brought deep, industry-relevant insight to the evening’s discussion. With a wealth of knowledge about Texas retail trends and how retail benefits municipalities, the members understand the need for thriving shopping centers in Houston. Shopping centers create jobs and add to property values and neighborhood appearances, while generating a critically needed revenue stream for cities. The types of jobs in retail range from entry-level to management, and in Texas total 1,033,410 positions*. Retail sales tax revenues benefit entire municipalities; in Texas, $14.9 billion* was collected. These benefits pair well with Mayor Turner’s goal to make Houston the most livable city in America. (*2014 totals; most recent data currently available.)

Overall, the group found common ground with the shared goal of improving the quality of retail shopping in Houston, and the need for technological updates and improvements in sustainability and design to improve consumers’ experiences; Point of Sale Outdoor Media, for instance, has brought 100% sustainable, solar powered advertising signage to shopping center public areas.

About the ICSC

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 70,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, investors, retailers, brokers, academics, and public officials. For more information about ICSC visit: www.icsc.org and for the latest news from ICSC and the industry go to www.thecenterofshopping.com.

New Advertising Signs Arriving in Houston Area Shopping Centers

OOH Startup Enables Advertisers to deliver
“last word” brand message.

HOUSTON, TX – Dallas-based Point of Sale Outdoor Media, Inc. (POSO), an Out of Home (OOH) media startup, is installing advertising signs in shopping center parking lots throughout Houston, America’s 10th largest DMA. POSO’s high-quality, solar-powered signs offer advertisers an aesthetically pleasing OOH space their consumers will encounter right before they enter a retail store. Combining attractive signs, meticulously selected locations, and a user-friendly website for advertisers, POSO has created a one-stop media shop, just in time for the 2014 holiday season.

Raymond Rodriguez, POSO President and Founder, identified the best Houston retail locations for POSO’s ad displays. He selected retail centers from Brixmor Property Group and Weingarten Realty Investors’ portfolios. “Working with Weingarten Realty and Brixmor enables us to have some ideal locations for our signs,” says Rodriguez. “They both, in turn, receive income from the rent we pay for those spaces. And they don’t give up one square inch of leasable space.” POSO is currently reaching out to other shopping center owners as demand for its ad space grows.

Rodriguez sought to create displays that would mesh, rather than fight with, their surroundings.  Solar-powered LED lighting on each sign ensures visibility after dark without the need for electricity. The lights are bright enough to attract consumers, but won’t glare into nearby neighborhoods, and they’re programmed via built-in computers to shut off when the center closes. The signs sit high off the ground on brightly colored posts, so they’re easy for consumers, and approaching cars, to see. Protective bumpers on the posts can withstand collisions up to 5mph. Each display has been approved by its center owner’s property manager, and city planners approve sign specifications. “Higher quality signs are attractive advertising options for a shopping center owner,” Rodriguez explains. “And, ultimately, advertising done properly encourages consumers to shop, a perk to any retail property manager.”

POSO has signed its first nationally recognized brand to place advertisements on signs throughout Houston. With holiday sales at shopping centers expected to grow 4% above 2013 results, advertisers can use POSO to take advantage of a new type of opportunity to impact shoppers. With their unique locations in shopping center parking lots, POSO displays aren’t lost in cluttered stores competing with other brands’ ads.

Advertising with POS Outdoor Media is a streamlined process with its website’s user-friendly search features, allowing clients to choose locations based on retailer, product name(s), geography, or shopper demography. Advertisers can buy specific ad faces, or a block of facings in a selected zip code. Signs can advertise any approved product or brand, so ads are not limited to products sold in that particular shopping center. Using POSO signs, advertisers can reach their consumers wherever they shop, dine, and play. However, POSO does not accept ads that compete with tenants at the properties where their signs are placed.

POSO signs are currently available for advertising in select Houston retail shopping centers, with more being installed daily. For more information, contact Raymond Rodriguez at (817) 488-7711, or Elizabeth Boysen, Director of Social Media at (512) 538-5102.

About POS Outdoor Media, Inc.

POSO was founded by the publisher of the NY Developers Journal (the NYD is a group of shopping center owners whose combined properties total nearly a quarter billion square feet of shopping space,) and by the marketing head of a Top 50 shopping center management company.  Both started their careers at consumer advertising agencies.  The founders are active members of the shopping center industry’s principal trade organization, the International Council of Shopping Centers.

About Brixmor Property Group

Brixmor owns and operates the nation’s largest wholly owned portfolio of grocery-anchored community and neighborhood shopping centers, with 522 properties aggregating approximately 87 million square feet of gross leasable area located primarily across the top 50 U.S. metro markets.  Brixmor leverages its national footprint, local market knowledge and operational expertise to support the growth of its retail tenants. The Company is focused on maximizing the value of its portfolio through its extensive leasing capabilities and anchor space repositioning / redevelopment platform. Headquartered in New York City, the Company is the largest landlord to The TJX Companies and The Kroger Company.  For additional information, please visit www.brixmor.com.

About Weingarten Realty Investors

Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE: WRI) is a shopping center owner, manager and developer. At September 30, 2014, the Company owned or operated under long-term leases, either directly or through its interest in real estate joint ventures or partnerships, a total of 251 properties which are located in 21 states spanning the country from coast to coast. These properties represent approximately 47.4 million square feet of which our interests in these properties aggregated approximately 29.0 million square feet of leasable area. To learn more about the Company’s operations and growth strategies, please visit www.weingarten.com.