Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mall Promotions

Contributed by Charu Gupta

In this competitive retailing environment, pulling the crowd has become a daunting task for retailers. Even mall owners have to implement new strategies and promotional tools to bring in the crowd as they want greater footfalls and more business for their tenants.

I recently visited Ambience Mall in Gurgaon during the festival of Teej which was also coinciding with friendship week. Ambience Mall, which boasts of being India’s largest mall with 1 km shopping floor, was totally abuzz on that day. The mall was totally in sync with the festive mood. At the entrance, there were people in traditional Rajasthani costumes singing and playing dhol welcoming visitors.

The atrium of the mall was replicated into a Teej fair running in a village. Swings decorated with flowers were placed where children as well as adults were waiting for their turn (yeah…even I was one of themJ). Various small shops selling hand-crafted and wooden toys were set up along two rows. A vendor giving “gudiya ke baal” free to children, puppet dance running in one corner, astrologer with his parrot giving free advise to people (was a busy man..this shows astrology services is a big business in India), Mehndi wala sitting at other corner, bangle shop, vendors selling “ek tara” and traditional perfumes and lots of other stuff, professional Rajasthani dancers dancing to the beats of folk music was all adding to the vibrancy of the place. Also, there were cots placed around adding to the village feel where people can sit and relax.

The atmosphere was filled with festive mood. Even the retailers were capitalizing on the festivities, various outlets and department stores were running “Sale” for increasing the footfalls in their store. One soft toy shop, on the event of Friendship Day, had organized games outside its shop and winners were being awarded Rs.100 gift voucher which could be redeemed at the shop. This was not only an enjoyable experience for the participants and passers by but has also brought additional sales for the store.

On that day, the whole mall was abuzz with fun activities going around lighting up the place. This all suggests that mall owners are realizing the need to bring out timely strategies to keep the footfalls increasing in their malls. Carrying out promotional activities during festive season and special occasions, organizing events and shows, food festivals, handicraft exhibitions, etc. are becoming regular feature for mall promotions.

After choosing the right tenant mix, mall owners’ responsibility is to sustain and increase the footfalls in their malls to ensure that the tenants do not make losses due to low footfalls.

One of the other examples is Simon malls in Indianapolis which is using “experiential marketing” which provides entertainment in addition to shopping. Simon, which owns six malls in the Atlanta area, develops promotions and events in partnership with radio and television stations, retailers, charities and celebrities. Simon has sponsored events for children and concerts by teen performers as part of a back-to-school promotion. The company also sponsors after-hours events to raise money for charity. [1]

Developers can work on drafting marketing strategies for individual malls to meet the needs of the local consumer base and the challenges of local and in some cases, regional competitors. A “Mall events” calendar can be made and shared with retailers so that they could organize their merchandise accordingly in tandem with the event. Such promotion events not only increase the popularity of the Mall, but also increase the value of the space available in the mall. Such events make the mall more popular and help the mall in attracting better brands at better prices.

Reference: [1] BizJournals

1 comment:

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