Adapting to Customer Needs and Preferences
Irvine Company has always viewed our retail centers as desirable outdoor destinations, designed to be an integral part of the community.
This philosophy has helped curate a special collection of merchants who want to be a part of this community – including small business owners, who are now innovating more than ever in these challenging times.
Take, for example, Matt Meddock and his Sessions West Coast Deli. Matt grew up in Woodbridge, where his parents still live. He opened his first Sessions on the Balboa Peninsula in 2014 and a second location in Huntington Beach in 2015. And after Woodbridge Village Center was renovated in 2018, he saw it as the perfect opportunity to open his third Sessions. The crisis has put a spotlight on his entrepreneurial spirit, as he quickly adapted to a delivery and takeout menu – remaining open daily from 8 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. serving old friends and his neighborhood.
Our communities, like our small business retailers, are resilient. Across all our retail centers large and small, Irvine Company has nearly 700 merchants open to serve the community.
To help sustain them during this tough time, Irvine Company offered one of the nation’s first rent-deferral programs, which has now benefitted nearly 500 small retailers.
But their challenges will continue until in-store shopping and dining can resume and consumer confidence returns. Even before the crisis, consumers were shopping more online, and that trend is expected to increase. Unfortunately, many small businesses will be unable to withstand this confluence of events.
While shopping centers evolve and grow over time, retail trends tend to move rapidly. Planning for an unfamiliar future will require agility and adaptation from our merchants, as well as from you, the customer. Your ongoing partnership with our community will help prepare for the future together.