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So here it finally is, FREEDOM DAY!

How are you feeling?

There are many that will be so relieved to be able to ditch their masks and have social distancing measures removed. There will be others and in particular those that are vulnerable, that will be anxious of everything lifting.

We’ve spoken to many industry experts and although airing on the side of caution, realise how important it is that we go about business as normal. I mean, how much more can businesses take? Especially those in retail which has taken such a huge hit these last 18 months.

How are you managing your centre? Are you still recommending facemasks or leaving it to the discretion of the public?

Will you be removing all covid safe signage or will you still keep your one-way system in place?

Whatever you decide, I don’t think anyone can dispute the fact that footfall and sales are key to the revival of our shopping centres and high streets.

Shopping habits have changed, and post covid has seen shoppers visiting centres and high streets less frequently, but the average shopping basket increase. This tells us that although shoppers are visiting less frequently, when they do, they are here to spend.

As stakeholders in the retail industry, we need to take heed of this and react accordingly. Now more than ever we need to ensure our centres have the PULL factor. When shoppers are choosing where to shop, they choose you.

How do we do this? Strong marketing campaigns and the right retail mix is vital. Engaging with shoppers and reintroducing them to what your centre has to offer is key. Enliven your mall and make sure your customer experience is on point. Make their visit count, and drive them to spend at your centre as apposed to your competitors. Many centres are moving away from traditional events and focusing on digital. Increasing engagement through relevant content and online initiatives that drive subscribers. A great way to ensure you build your database and you are talking to your customers. We have also seen a big shift in community initiatives. Creating ways to bring the community together through partnerships and ideas that benefits all stakeholders locally. The perfect way to keep your centre in the forefront of local shoppers’ minds, creating the sense of belonging and loyalty. Giving you an edge over your competitors.

Lets bring back the PULL factor to shopping centres and continue to drive footfall and sales safely.

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