When you lease or manage shopping centres, the marketing of the tenant mix to optimise sales will be a constant focus for you. In this economic climate the tenant mix should be shaped and comprehensively marketed to the shopping demographic and community that visits the centre. In this way the property manager helps the tenants to optimise sales and therefore minimises vacancy threat. In the end result the landlord benefits with a successful shopping centre.
So every shopping centre should have an established Marketing System and Plan for the coming 12 to 18 months. It is a ‘rolling’ process where things are planned and implemented to maximise the shopper interest and the sales results. This ‘plan’ should be incorporated into the business plan for the property.
The shopping seasons are ‘planned for’ well in advance, utilising tools and concepts such as:
- Stimulate the shopper interest with contests and celebrity visits to the property on peak shopping days – that is usually Thursdays to Saturdays.
- Let community groups set up booths in the mall to promote donations, membership or contributions
- Let some of your retailers set up special selling areas in the mall to complement sales and add to shopper interest
- If the local community is impacted by tourism or holiday shoppers, incorporate that focus into your marketing plans
- Build on the identity of the shopping centre by branding ever piece of promotional material with the ‘name’ of the shopping centre.
- If your property is located near rail stations, airports, or bus depots, make sure you are advertising in those locations for both your property and the tenant mix.
- Develop flyers to drop into letterboxes in your shopping demographic
- Every shopping bag should get a flyer or ‘bag stuffer’ of another offer or contest
- Have complementary tenants cooperate with each other for extended selling across the core theme (e.g. ladies fashion can be cross selling across shoes, clothes, cosmetics, and jewellery)
- Get students from the local school or college to display their art as part of an annual competition.
- Involve local radio, TV, and newspapers with your shopping centre events. You may need to run some adverts to get their interest or involvement
- Research your shoppers 3 times a year to identify what they are looking for in product offering and tenant mix
- Split the shopping year into a series of special promotions such as shoes, eating and drinking, household appliances, jewellery, electrical goods, computer and gaming, and fashion.
When you think about it, there are some good reasons to promote the property; understand the community and then tap into their needs.