The process of marketing a retail shopping centre today needs to be well considered and planned. Every year the plan needs to be reviewed and upgraded for the pressures of the market and the tenancy mix. The plan modification should occur as part of the business plan upgrade for the tenancy mix and the landlord.
Throughout every calendar year, there will be promotional seasons that relate to retail sales and property opportunity. So let’s assume that you lease or manage a retail shopping centre. Your location, town or city will have a lot to do with the success of your shopping centre. It directly follows that you really do need to know your property market and the current levels of retail activity. The marketing plan brings both of these factors together.
When it comes to strengthening the success of a shopping centre a fine balance of promotion is required to get customers to come to the property in a regular way, and spend money. That is where the marketing plan should be well structured and considered.
To establish a marketing plan of this nature, consider the following factors:
- Check out the competing retail properties in the location or precinct, so that you can relate to their tenancy clustering, mix strategies, vacancy factors, and market rentals. Compare those issues to your subject property.
- Undertake a survey of shoppers relating to your property across a number of weeks. Be aware of the differences when it comes to weekly shopping patterns. Every day of the week will show different trends and different types of customers. From the survey, it is necessary to understand exactly what your customers are looking for when they visit your shopping centre.
- Put some traffic counters on the entrance doors to the property. At the end of each day, tally the numbers relating to each entrance way. It is necessary to track the numbers on a daily basis so that you can understand the busier days of the week. You can take this analysis further by splitting the numbers between the morning and the afternoon shopping periods.
- If the tenant’s leases provide for it, track the turnover activity for each tenant. The numbers should be tallied into groupings of retailers. You will soon see the strengths and weaknesses within the tenancy mix. Any weaknesses in trade should be resolved. Any strength within the tenancy mix should be encouraged. You will make your marketing choices based on the successful elements of your property.
- Across a period of 12 months, there will be retail shopping seasons. Some may be due to community activity, whilst others will be related to holidays and festivities. Your marketing budget should integrate into these community celebrations.
- Understand the major points of attraction that apply to the shopping centre. The anchor tenant or tenants will have a lot to do with that attraction factor. The specialty tenants will encourage further shopping activity and customer spending patterns. It directly follows that you should work closely with the anchor tenant and the specialty tenants to encourage ongoing customer visits.
- The successful marketing of the shopping centre will only occur when sufficient funds are available. The tenants to the property should contribute towards the promotion of the property and the marketing budget. The landlord may also choose to contribute in some way.
- It is worthwhile noting that the experience of the customer within a retail property will have a lot to do with the potential of a return visit. On that basis you need to look at the way in which the customer moves to and through the property, together with how long they stay there and spend money. Understand transport factors, car parking, common area usage, and the customers reasons for shopping.
So there are a number of things to do here as part of establishing a marketing budget for the shopping centre; understand all the retail factors as part of building your promotional plan. Get the landlords and the tenants within the property involved in its future.
A successful retail property or shopping centre will be created through the involvement of the property manager, landlord, tenants, and customers. The marketing budget will integrate the involvement of all parties to the success of the property.