ATLANTA—Because of the population influx in urban cores,retailers are much more focused on in-town locations. So saysRay Uttenhove, executive vice president and marketleader, at SRS. SRS is handling the leasing for586,000-square-foot Town Center in Midtown Atlanta that's part ofAtlantic Station.

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"Atlanta has had to transition away from vehicle-dependentpower centers, and embrace pedestrian-friendly mixed-usedevelopments that offer a variety of experiences," Uttenhove tellsGlobeSt.com. "In 2016, retailers will look to further optimizetheir market footprint."

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Uttenhove is also betting retailers will do more to enhance thebrand experience. She points to Athleta at Atlantic Station, whichleads yoga classes in the park, as an example. She expectsretailers to flock to locations that host events and offer publicspace for the retailer to activate with its own brand-alignedexperiences whether a wine tasting, fashion show or fitnessclass.

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"In 2016, another key for retailers will be to further integratee-commerce with brick and mortar stores," Uttenhove says. "Both arenecessary to satisfy today's shopper."

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As she sees it, stores now serve many functions to cater to anextremely educated consumer. Consumers are often researchingproducts on the website or social media, looking for the latestdeals.

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"The 2016 retailer will ensure the shopper has expandedopportunities," Uttenhove says. "They will make a way forcustomers to shop in store, online, shipping accommodations,events, brand-aligned experiences and more."

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