November 11, 2019
By Dennis Kaiser
Retaining and increasing foot traffic during the cooler winter months becomes a challenge facing landlords of open-air shopping centers. Kimco’s Jennifer Maisch shared a few tips that help drive increased footfall and revenue as the holiday season approaches. Check out her insights in our latest CRE Q&A.
Q: What are some of the strategies that work to drive traffic in winter months?
A: First, our portfolio’s focus on necessity-based goods and services is useful in preventing significant drops in foot traffic during the winter months. Convenience is key, so remaining diligent in property management items such as snow and ice removal (as needed) keeps the parking lot and sidewalks clear and provides easy access for customers regardless of the weather. Designating parking spots for curbside pickup is another convenience factor that customers and retailers appreciate, especially in colder weather.
Q: Consumers often demand more than access today. How do you create experiential retail environments that appeal to shoppers regardless of the season?
A: Beyond these logistical items, we focus year-round on creating experiences and integrating our centers into the communities in which they operate. Hosting events is a key component of that strategy, and the holidays are a perfect time to create family-friendly festivities for shoppers to enjoy. At Kimco, we first consider the demographics of the area (is it family-oriented, or mostly populated by young professionals?). We also consider which community organizations it makes sense to partner with. When it comes to charities, we love to partner with local organizations so that we’re benefitting the communities in which we operate.
Q: People shop differently today than they have in the past. How can hosting community events and creating Instagrammable moments fuel interest and discovery by consumers?
A: We also often partner with city/town officials to host their holiday celebrations at our centers. Holiday events across our portfolio include visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus, tree and menorah lighting ceremonies, horse-drawn carriage rides, ice sculpting contests, charity events, concerts with performances by local school bands/orchestras, “Frozen”-themed events for kids, “Instagrammable” opportunities throughout the center (such as Selfies with Santa at Jantzen Beach in Portland, OR, and seasonal chair photo opportunities at Suburban Square in Ardmore, PA), to name a few. Holiday décor can also make the shopping experience extra special during the holidays, and enhance the feel of our events.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Dennis Kaiser