NEW YORK, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- A new survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) conducted as part of the celebration marking the association's 50th Anniversary, shows that the local shopping center or mall is viewed as a focal point of the community and a good community partner in the minds of a majority of Americans. The survey found that people see their local mall or shopping center as more than simply a place to shop, viewing these "lifestyle" centers as gathering places that have worked hard to weave themselves into the fabric of the communities they serve. The Survey explored the impressions of 1000+ Americans 18 and over asking them a series of questions about their feelings concerning their local shopping center or mall and was conducted by Opinion Research Corporation as part of their Caravan(R) Study. Founded in 1957 and celebrating its 50th Anniversary, ICSC is the global retail real estate trade association for the shopping center industry. With more than 68,000 members in the United States, Canada and 92 other countries, the association represents shopping center owners, developers and managers as well as marketing specialists, investors, lenders, retailers and public officials. ICSC develops educational programs, provides research, publishes economic impact findings and statistics and holds meetings and conventions that help its members, the media, academics and the public learn more and better understand the industry. The ICSC will hold its annual convention this year in Las Vegas, May 20-23. Survey Findings Overall, 53% of respondents said they felt their favorite shopping center had a somewhat to very favorable impact on their lives with almost two-thirds of women responding affirmatively and a surprising 44% of men agreeing. Further, a consistent majority across all age, regional, race, income and education categories felt the same, that their local shopping center or mall was at least a somewhat to very favorable factor in their lives. Most revealing was the strong response demonstrated when respondents were asked a series of questions about shopping centers and malls as good community partners and as gathering and meeting places. For example, when asked if the local shopping center or mall tries to bond with the community and be a respected community partner, almost two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they agreed somewhat to very much with that statement. A similarly strong two- thirds (64%) said they agreed that their local shopping center or mall is an important part of their community. Further, more than half of the respondents agreed that their shopping center or mall is a focal point of the community and a place that's become a part of the fabric of the community. One of the key surprises in the ICSC 50th Anniversary Survey was the similarities between men and women. Conventional wisdom would have predicted women to be more likely to have a stronger impression of, and feelings toward, their local shopping center or mall but the 50th Anniversary Survey indicated their feelings to be about equal. In virtually all circumstances explored, men showed an equally favorable impression of their local shopping center or mall as a positive in the community and a good partner. In fact, when asked whether they felt their local shopping center or mall is a meeting or gathering place for them and their family, about one-third of men (32%) and the same one-third of women (32%) responded they agreed at least somewhat with that statement. "The industry and Association recognizes the responsibilities our shopping centers and malls have in the communities we serve and it has been our mission to reach-out and involve ourselves as active partners whenever possible," said ICSC President and CEO Michael P. Kercheval. "We are celebrating fifty-years as an association that has tried to educate members and make positive contributions to the economic and social fabric of the communities where our members do business. The ICSC 50th Anniversary Survey demonstrates that people feel pretty good about the centers they frequent and that the local shopping center or mall has taken on a larger presence as a meeting place and good community partner and the industry can feel particularly proud of that." About the Survey This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among approximately 1000+ Americans identified through a national probability sample of adults comprising 512 men and 518 women 18 years of age and older, living in private households in the continental United States. Interviewing for this CARAVAN(R) Survey was completed during the period April 5-7, 2007. For additional information about the Survey and the 50th Anniversary of the International Council of Shopping Centers, and to speak with an ICSC official, please contact Shep Doniger at 561-637-5750 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the International Council of Shopping Centers, please visit http://www.icsc.org.
SOURCE International Council of Shopping Centers