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Edge computing is coming to you

Edge Computing is Coming to You Soon!

SCP’s Economic Growth Monitor

 

Edge computing is coming to you, an essential part of our world of data centers, Internet cloud and the Internet of things.  Since many local economic development professionals are interested in attracting major data center facilities, it is helpful to understand how these edge processing objectives may impact data centers and the rest of the connected data network.

 

In essence, edge computing is about distributed computing, delivering processing “horsepower” in low-latency situations as close as possible to where it is required.   Also, enterprise datasets are getting huge and there is also a desire to reduce data transport costs.  As a result, keeping more of collected data closer to its source simply makes economic and performance sense.

 

According to some industry sources, by 2025, 75% of generated data will be processed outside centralized data centers or the cloud.

 

Edge computing often involves data storage and processing with “edge devices.”  A simple example of an edge device is a router that connects public networks to the internet.  Or, in a finance setting, a smartphone or tablet becomes the edge device.    Edge devices become increasingly specific to particular edge requirements.  In healthcare, edge devices are increasingly deployed as wearable and/or implantable medical devices to support patient care.

 

Because this computer processing “at the edge” is implied as connected to data networks in the Cloud and in data centers, each edge device carries an implicit security risk.    While the interest in processing power at the edge increases, getting the overall system security design in place is a large open issue.

 

There are benefits to edge computing in most every industry today.    Network World joined with CIO, Computerworld, CSO, and InfoWorld, have prepared articles to explore “the edge” from five different perspectives, available here:  Edge computing: The next generation of innovation

 

ICD Announces Dubai Global Connect

Wholesale Trade Market for Dubai, in Development

SCP’s Project Monitor

 

A wholesale trade market for Dubai is now under development, to propel Dubai as a destination for global players in wholesale trade.   Investment Corporation of Dubai (“ICD”) is creating the one million SF wholesale mart, to be named Dubai Global Connect (“DGC”).

 

Also known as “The City of Trade,” the DGC is a next economic development program for an emirate well-known for such innovations.   The facility will boost Dubai as a global destination for players active in wholesale trade.  ICD is a sovereign wealth fund of the United Arab Emirates.

 

The initial focus of the BtoB wholesale market will be in three industry sectors:   furniture and living, food, and fashion.  Wholesale markets around the world offer permanent showroom spaces that are open to qualified retail buyers and designers, manufacturers, and industry professionals, and can be fitted-out by sellers according to their own style and budget. The showrooms are closed to the general public.

 

Market Center Management Company, Ltd. (Dallas) has signed on in strategic alliance with DGC for the development and management of the facility.  MCMC operates ShanghaiMart, Trade Mart Brussels, and Dallas Market Center.

 

ICD’s announcement and a description of this wholesale trade market for Dubai, is covered in a recent article by Arabian Business: Dubai unveils plan for giant B2B wholesale market

Retailer bankruptcies and store closings.

Lifestyle Retail Centers the “Evergreen” for Malls?

As winners and losers become apparent, lifestyle centers may be well-poised for the future.

Are lifestyle retail centers, the “evergreen” among mall formats?    For several important reasons, we believe this may be true.

 

Let’s start with the capacity for lifestyle retail centers to adapt and retrofit over time.   Most of the best lifestyle centers feature single-story retail, or at maximum two-story.    And these centers are also commonly set up in main street configurations, sometimes even with a city grid (block) format.   As the businesses that reside in a lifestyle change evolve, grow, get replaced, and the like, the cost of change-outs are simply less expensive than enclosed malls or shopping centers set within fixed overall shells.

 

Lifestyle retail centers are also less likely to be anchored by the department store and big box retailers that are facing their possible obsolescence.  And where a lifestyle center has been “anchored” by a retailer or lifestyle center (such as a fitness club) that has lost its lease, the vacant store and its pad are not difficult to re-purpose for even a new land use.   And since such anchors typically have had some amount of adjacent dedicated parking, re-configuring a building shell is somewhat more flexible when some surface parking is used.

 

Like politics, the feasibility and success of all lifestyle centers are local.    Accordingly, as local market conditions change and consumer preferences evolve, the mall product augmentations may head towards location-based entertainment, to mixed-use reconfiguration, and of course, a full scraping of the original mall concept.   Some of the reconfiguration possible include last-mile fulfillment for online retailers as well as dark grocers handling similar online fulfillment.   Shopping centers are usually well-located with regard to their local customer support for of course these centers work well for fullfillment.

 

Then there’s the placemaking and “gathering place” aspects of lifestyle retail centers.   The open-air design of lifestyle centers is conducive to providing attractive (and green) walkways, approaches from parking, sunshine (when available), and outdoor settings and structures that we all of enjoy.   When a shopping trip is more about having an experience, enjoying some camaraderie, and doing some people watching, it becomes apparent that … just maybe … lifestyle retail centers may be the new mall “evergreen” format.

 

Our directory and history of lifestyle retail centers, is available at the link provided below.

 

 

Lifestyle retail centers the new mall evergreen?

Lifestyle retail centers may be the new mall evergreen, in terms of mall configuration and customer appeal.

Arc’teryx's store has four "experiential huts"

Arc’teryx’s Store has four “Experiential Huts”

AEC’s Consumer Products Monitor

 

Arc’teryx’s store has four “experiential huts” throughout its two-level, 8,000 SF store space in Shanghai; the retailer’s 30th store in China.   The outdoor apparel and gear store is among more than 3,000 locations globally for the retailer.  Arc’teryx Equipment specializes in technical high-performance apparel, outerwear and equipment, based in North Vancouver, British Columbia.  Arc’teryx Equipment is in turn owned by Amer Sports Oyj, a PRC-owned Finnish sporting goods company.

 

The immersive approach to the store’s design is an example of the kind of experiential retail necessary to make the -in-store visit compelling.  The four different experiential huts include: the “Hardshell Hut” featuring LED screen views and sounds of the Canadian mountains; the “Gore-Tex Hut” rain room; the “Hardgoods Hut” with the brand’s hard goods and a climbing wall; and the “Brand Hut” featuring a seasonally-changing virtual reality module.

 

Retailers that deliver in-store experiences are also what’s needed for shopping centers and retail districts.   As online retail purchases continue to rise, the relevancy of mall retail is more akin to the enduring interest of consumers for location-based entertainmentArc’teryx’s store with four “experiential huts” is the kind of hybrid retail/LBE that will allow physical mall destinations to make sense.

 

An interesting description of the store is available on the SGB Media website, at: Arc’teryx Opens Global Flagship Store In Shanghai

Water City Niagara Falls, a Cocov Destinations Niagara property

The Artificial Ski and Snow Era Begins, as New Venues Open in the U.S.

Elsewhere in the world, the artificial ski and snow era began in the 1990's.

The artificial ski and snow era begins in the U.S., as man-made facilities begin to open.   These facilities featuring artificial snow and ice have become common throughout Europe, China, and other regions of the world.

 

The opening of Big Snow at American Dream Mall in East Rutherford (New Jersey) may be venue that marks the beginning of this new era in the U.S.   American Dream Mall is a development of Triple Five Worldwide, the developer of mega-malls such as West Edmonton and Mall of America.   Triple Five also has a next mega-mall in planning, the American Dream Mall in Miami, Florida.  Although such places as Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre (opened 2009) at Liberty University, Pigeon Forge Snow (opened 2018), SnoBahn Colorado (2018), and Buck Hill in Burnsville, Minnesota (2016), each opened well before Big Snow, the U.S. retail and outdoor recreation industry may have needed to see Triple Five’s more large-scale examples in operation.

 

Outside the U.S., artificial ski and snow facilities are common throughout Europe, the UAE, Egypt, Turkey, Russia, India, Japan, and in particular, China.  Between 2010 and 2019, at least 42 of these man-made projects have been completed.   The European “artificial” era got its start in the 1990’s with such facilities as Vuokatti Ski Tunnel (Finland), Montana Snowcenter Westerhoven (The Netherlands), and Noeux Les Mines (Pas de Calais, France).

 

For real estate, retail mall, and municipalities, these artificial ski and snow venues can take many forms, and can act as an effective anchor “gathering place.”   Indoor and outdoor “all weather” operation are a possibility.   Recreation sports such as downhill and cross-country skiing are a popular format, but non-sport artificial environments can include all forms of immersive attractions and themed entertainment.

 

Outdoor recreation consultants and designers - The Artificial Ski and Snow Era Begins

Artificial snowtubing hill, conceptual design.

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