When you manage a retail shopping centre or large retail property, you will typically be involved in the marketing of the property to the local community and customers. A successful retail property survives off the generation of sales from the retail tenancy mix.
The average shopping year allows for the seasonal changes and shopping patterns of the local community. The marketing of the property should also be similarly structured.
Here are some ideas regards the establishment and running of the shopping centre management marketing program.
- It is wise to consider the tenancy mix of your property first and identify the expected changes in the mix over the coming year; this is a key part of the marketing campaign annual budget review. If a tenant is soon to be leaving the property, then the marketing strategy should be adjusted and not extensively promote their ongoing retail offering and presence to the shoppers. Focus your efforts on the tenants that you know are a part of the property’s future.
- It is likely that you will have highly performing tenants within the tenancy mix. The sales and customer base from these tenants will encourage sales for the other tenants within the property, providing you can cluster and mix the tenants appropriately. This is where the tenancy mix and analysis becomes part of the marketing process. The tenancy strategy is really important here.
- Consider the local community and the celebrations or holidays that happen throughout the year. These may be trigger points for special marketing processes within your property. Any community celebrations can be merged into the activities of your tenants and the tenancy mix.
- If your property is located within an area impacted by tourists or travelers, then you should consider a marketing campaign and advertising material that captures their interest from the main points of thoroughfare such as main roads, buses, trains, and highways.
- Speak to local community groups to see if they have an interest in running competitions or establishing a trading booth in your mall on weekends. You can thereby allow these community groups to market your shopping centre and their activity through their member newsletters.
- Keep in regular contact with your anchor tenants. These tenants will be the main draw card for sales and customer visits across the property. Ensure that any lease expiry of an anchor tenant is renegotiated well in advance of any lease expiry. Understand that the anchor tenant is a right match for the customers to the property and the changes in the community.
- In some larger retail properties, it is not unusual to have some monthly marketing contribution being made by all the tenants; this contribution is structured into the lease occupancy documents. Importantly this contribution should be controlled as part of a budgetary process and a tenants marketing committee.
A successful retail property is by its very nature of vibrant shopping experience. The marketing of the property should not simply be left to the tenants; the landlord and the property manager have to get involved. A coordinated marketing effort across the property and the tenancy mix will help boost the future of the property for both the landlord and tenants; this will help boost the cash flow for all concerned.