The Challenge

A prominent luxury shopping center, that had previously marketed and catered to tourists, wanted to turn attention to attracting local shoppers.

In order to formulate a strategy,
management needed to get a better understanding of:

Explore how locals perceive the shopping center and why.

Determine what opportunities exist to increase interest among locals.

Uncover what barriers or challenges deter locals from shopping at the shopping center.

Discover the types of messaging would be most effective in driving enhanced local interest.

The Findings

The research revealed that the shopping center is viewed as a destination and social hub based on its wide variety of stores and restaurants. While locals identified several pain points, such as a lack of sufficient parking and poor customer service in the high-end stores, participants found no urgent need for major structural improvements.

Locals perceived that the addition of high-end stores appealed mostly to tourists rather than to value-conscious residents, causing a decline in the reputation of the shopping center among locals.

Locals recommended several potential enhancements to strengthen the local appeal, such as establishing a local loyalty program, bringing back nostalgic stores, adding a farmer’s market, or sponsoring other local activities to enhance the shopping experience.

The Solution

The Olinger Group implemented a series of qualitative focus groups among residents to evaluate current perceptions of the shopping center and identify potential amenity enhancements to drive increased interest. The research plan incorporated a variety of research methodologies, such as word association, to examine consumer perceptions and enable the shopping center management team and corporate office to enhance its integrated marketing strategy.

The Outcome

The research results enabled the shopping center to revitalize its image as a local shopping destination while maintaining its appeal with tourists by:

  • Sponsoring, hosting, and promoting more local, cultural events
  • Targeting social media campaigns to the local community
  • Offering shopping discounts and rewards to locals
  • Launching and promoting charitable programs to benefit the local community

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