California Centers

SEP 2017

California Centers Magazine serves retailers, developers, shopping center owners, investment sales brokers and tenant representation firms throughout the state of California.

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28 California Centers Magazine | September 2017 C C For Westfield, this typically involves a collaboration with its retailers that gets underway well before the holiday season. The approach includes a com- bination of targeted digital and out-of- home advertising and social media en- gagement. This is followed by curated in-center and in-store experiences and events that feature retailer tie-ins and promotions, in addition to an increase in customer service and public rela- tions activity. "Our point of differentiation must be providing a holistic brand experi- ence that simply can't be duplicated, and which engages the customer in new and dynamic ways," Hecht con- tinues. "That is why we are boldly re- imagining our shopping malls as cen- ters at the intersection of community, culture and commerce — defined by a careful curation of offerings where the experience is engaging, meaningful and social." One of those in-store holiday expe- riences was a Kylie Cosmetics pop-up shop that opened December 9 at the Westfield Topanga shopping center in the Los Angeles submarket of Canoga Park. This was the first-ever physical store of its kind for the youngest mem- ber of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, who is approaching 100 million fol- lowers on Instagram alone. The store sold holiday-themed products, as well as items that couldn't be purchased on the celebrity's makeup website. The added foot traffic not only resulted in stronger sales for Westfield Topan- ga during the busy 2016 holiday sea- son, but also allowed the mall to col- lect valuable data from those passing through. "The Kylie Cosmetics pop-up shows the awesome power of social media marketing, the reach it can have with consumers and the importance it can play in helping us shape the offerings that consumers are looking for," Hecht explains. "Both Westfield and our re- tail partners are ever more reliant upon leveraging data — from tradi- tional metrics like foot traffic and sales per square foot to social media ana- lytics — to analyze the products, ser- vices, amenities and experiences that most resonate with our customers. [From these analytics] it is clear that customers desire experiences more and more, throughout the year and certainly during the holidays." FACTORING IN CONVENIENCE Celebrity names and unique mer- chandise you can't find anywhere else (including online) is one way to drive traffic to a center. Another way is by making that center as easy to navigate as possible during such a frenzied time of year. "The brick-and-mortar shopping experience is such an important part of the holiday season, and there is a significant increase in traffic during this time of year," says Brent Gard- ner, senior general manager of the Glendale Galle- ria, a GGP-owned property in Los Angeles. "Through GGP's mobile app, we make sure our online directories are up to date, tech- nology is in place to guide customers from one store to the next, consumers are informed of the holi- day happenings and, of course, we inform guests about the lo- cation of available parking spaces. As we all know, the outstanding shop- ping experience starts in the parking lot." GGP learned this lesson firsthand after analyzing some of its successful and less successful strategies of holi- day seasons' past. A particularly valu- able lesson came during the 2015 hol- iday rush. "We learned there were several loca- tions at the Galleria where cars were being allowed to make left-hand turns out of garages, which ultimately lead to long lines because the incoming traffic was backed up and it was creat- ing a ripple effect," Gardner explains. "In 2016, we removed all left turns and any other turns that would force cars to cross paths. This ultimately lead to shorter traffic waits for customers who were trying to enter and exit the prop- erty." GGP also works proactively with its tenants, security team, parking man- agement company, the Glendale Police Department and the City of Glendale traffic division to mitigate any addi- tional traffic and safety issues that can arise during the holiday season. "With increased traffic at Glendale Galleria, our consumers have come to expect from us a safe, clean and effort- less experience, from parking to navi- gating the shopping center," Gardner adds. "It is critical to be organized and prepared. We actually begin the plan- ning process at the conclusion of the prior year's holiday season in Janu- ary." The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard has programs at the holiays for those with special needs. Brent Gardner Senior General Manager, Glendale Galleria GGP

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