In most retail Shopping Centers today, the competition is fierce between retailers and with the other retail properties. Property owners and tenants alike are chasing the retail customer. (NB – you can get our free commercial real estate training right here)
Ultimately the sales opportunities for retail tenants and traders must be lifted and maintained in any Shopping Center. A plan and ongoing strategy is required on an annual basis. There will be Marketing Managers and Center Managers in any Shopping Center striving to achieve that.
The Shopping Centers that struggle with attracting customers are usually those that overlook the planning and customer attraction process. That then leads to a drop-in customer attendance, sales, and tenant success.
Cooperation between the ‘stakeholders’ in a retail property will allow sales and market rents to improve and consolidate as customer interest is improved over time. The landlord and the tenants should therefore work together to build the customer attraction factors of the property. Where there are customers to attract, a plan is required.
Here are some ideas to help with the concept:
- Shopping patterns and customer demographics – get to know what your customers do each week when it comes to shopping and spending money. There will be averages that apply to the spending patterns of your local customers and families. There will be certain days of the week and times of the month where shopping requirements are higher. Match your property marketing campaign into the purchasing intentions of the customers.
- Annual marketing plan – consider your local area to understand the seasonal celebrations and regional holidays. There may also be some activities attributable to community groups and organizations. These events can be merged into your annual marketing plan and retail promotion strategy.
- Anchor tenant and specialty tenant cooperation – encourage all types and sizes of tenancies to work together. You can do that through a few directed marketing campaigns based on local celebrations.
- Mall marketing time lines – establish a timeline for all your promotions throughout the year within the mall and across the tenancy types. Certain tenancies can be consolidated or grouped into a specific marketing campaign at certain times of the year related to sporting, fashion, family, and entertainment. Work the tenancy clusters into your promotional efforts.
- Sales campaigns and seasonal promotions – whilst you may have a single large shopping centre to promote, you will have clusters and merchandise groups to optimize. Mix and match the merchandise groups into your marketing campaigns at different times of the year based on climate, seasonal shopping patterns, and customer interest.
- Tenant placements and clustering – look at the design of the property to understand where you should be focusing your promotions in common areas and doorways. Look at the entrance points across the property so that you can build marketing momentum with suitable advertising material and tenant placements.
- Local area customers versus regional visitors – different people will come to your property daily and on a weekly basis. There may be a good degree of business related lunchtime trade to merge into your weekly marketing campaign. Understand where your customers are coming from and what they are looking for.
- Bag ‘stuffers’ and competitions – throughout the year, merge a few competitions into your property related marketing efforts. Overseas holidays are quite commonly used in that way. The prize can be funded through the marketing efforts of the property and the tenants. The travel business providing the prize can be specially promoted as part of the overall initiative.
- Local community group activities – get the local community involved in your property. You can do that using some billboards, advertising material, the use of the common area in the property, and special temporary booths in the malls. You may have a stage or a podium in the common area around the food court; use that stage or podium for community events and presentations on busy shopping days and shopping nights.
- Website and social media – integrate all your competitions throughout the year into your social media sites and website. Encourage your customers to participate in your social media channels.
With these things mentioned, you can create some real customer interaction and interest in your shopping centre. Choose several different strategies to optimise over time as part of your promotional efforts.