Westfield adds analytics chief to boost innovation

Mall owner Westfield Corp. hired Raghav Lal as exec-VP, chief data and analytics officer to lead the newly developed big data and analytics group.

"Westfield recognizes the critical importance of both physical and digital research, and is committed to understanding and protecting its big data, to create relevant, compelling and seamless end-to-end retail innovations and experiences," reported Retailing Today.

In this new role, Lal will be responsible for overseeing the collection, analysis and dissemination of data to improve business-to-business and business-to-consumer services.

"We expect big data to have a major impact on how we manage our traditional functions of developing, leasing and managing our assets," said Steven Lowy, Westfield's co-CEO. "The appointment (of Rahhav Lal) continues our increasing focus on the use of technology and is a further addition to the new skills we are bringing into the company."

Previously, Lal was senior VP and global head of analytics at Visa, where he established the data and analytics function and created "Big Data" products and offerings for retailers. He also managed the global small business segment at both Visa and American Express.

Kevin McKenzie, the chief digital officer who leads Westfield Labs, and Denis Taylor, Westfield's CIO who oversees the physical technology infrastructure, will both work closely with Lal to ensure data, technology and infrastructure are combined in a way that promotes innovation based on consumer insights.

Westfield and other mall operators have been growing investments in technology—both back-end and customer-facing—to create more vibrant shopping and lifestyle centers.

For more:
-See the Retailing Today story

Related Stories:
Mall operators Simon, Taubman introduce digital upgrades
Macy's, Nordstrom pilot 7-ft. 'digital storefront' inside mall
The Mall: Destination Entertainment
Simon malls partner with Refinery29 to woo millennials
Sears, Simon Properties form real estate venture