How to Increase Sales in an Outlet Center
Shopping at outlet centers is a $25 billion industry, according to MSN Money. Getting your hands on a larger piece of that pie requires convincing the various store owners in your outlet center to get on board with your promotional ideas. Explain that the promotional activities you plan to organize will help increase traffic, boost sales and encourage repeat shoppers. Besides, keeping your retailers happy so they keep renewing their leases is another reason to increase sales.
Sponsor community events, such as farmer’s markets, craft fairs or community workshops on gardening or home remodeling in your parking lot. Arrange to hold opening ceremonies for local sports organizations in your parking lot. The added traffic draws attention to your center, with many of the attendees heading to the outlet shops to make purchases before and after the event. Encourage participating stores to market to their database of customers about the event and tie the products they carry to the event. For instance, if a store sells outdoor patio furniture, encourage them to offer a discount on certain brands of furniture during workshops related to gardening or landscaping.
Create a members-only club to reward frequent shoppers with free stuff when they spend specific amounts of money at your outlet stores. Start your rewards program with a big bang -- for example, offer a freebie as soon as the shopper spends $100 at the outlet shops. Hang large banners near the entrance to the outlet parking area, and advertise the program in local publications to build interest. Send special mailings to members to offer them additional savings at specific stores to encourage even more shopping.
Encourage stores to cross-promote each other to their customers. Hold a kick-off meeting during which participating stores learn about each other’s products and services so they recognize opportunities to make referrals when talking to their customers. Ask stores that complement each other, such as shoe shops and clothing stores, to pass out each other’s fliers to prompt shoppers to visit the other store. Encourage each store to promote the other outlet vendors on their social media pages and website to create more followers.
Advertise your outlet center as a tourist destination or as the “go-to place” for people in nearby towns who don’t have easy access to shopping centers or an outlet mall in their area. Use your ad to encourage them to spend the day, and share information about nearby restaurants, entertainment and outdoor events to make the trip more fun. Market to nearby chambers of commerce to encourage them to mention your outlet in their advertising efforts. Approach tour guides and bus operators to encourage them to include a stop at your outlet center when they bring visitors to your area.