Retail in the Time of Cholera

Will covid-19 change shopping centre marketing? If so, how?

The covid-19 pandemic is inevitably leading us into another recession. No one is yet certain how dramatic it will be, but perhaps the downturn ahead of us will be the greatest one since the Great Depression. Pessimism and negativity dominate: „trade will never be the same again”, „customers will radically change their shopping habits”, „shopping centres will become deserted”, „consumers will move to the Internet”, „shopping centres will go bankrupt”.

We will try to show in this material – albeit only superficially – that most (if not all) of these predictions for shopping centres are simply not true. We will also try to provide some tips for shopping centre managers on what direction of action should be taken in the nearest future to increase growth when emerging from the downturn and during recovery.

tenants in Poland will not relocate to high streets and online

although some of them will go bankrupt, while others will use the crisis for restructuring which they would have to implement anyway

consumers will return to shopping malls and will not move all their purchases to the Internet

although they may at times use online shopping more frequently

shopping centres will not change their existing character and functions radically

although their owners and managers will have to revise their priorities and look at their facilities not from the point of view of a property managers, but that of a retailers; in this sense, the current recession may or indeed should bring about a fundamental change in the perspective on commercial property management: this means a new approach to shopping centre management as opposed to e.g. office building management; those managers who will implement such new approach will, over the next 3 years, achieve much better results in the sector

Mediadem REview
Key Tips

"Do not press the panic button"

"Be wary of newspaper stories. These are commonly exaggerated, and seldom based on widespread evidence. Bad news sells papers. It also sells market research – ignore over-the-top market research reports claiming large changes in consumer behaviour.” (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, A Marketing Guide: What to do in a Recession, 2008)

Don’t be too defensive. Don’t be too aggressive

More-of-the-same approach won’t work. Adopt a progressive response to Covid-19 recession: implement some budget cuts (non-essential loyalty programmes, events etc.) and optimizations, grow efficiency in line with investments in retail-oriented innovations. (R. Gulati, N. Nohria, F. Wohlgezogen, Roaring Out of Recession, Harvard Business Review, March 2010)

"Lower your growth targets but maintain your marketing support"

"Invest in SOV brand building. Otherwise you’ll have to spend more when the recession ends trying to regain your momentum.” (Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, A Marketing Guide: What to do in a Recession, 2008.)

Build your long-term brand image as a retail expert rather than property or development expert

Use this B2C retailer expertise and image
as the core of your B2B brand.

Embrace growing physical availability innovations

such as: e-comerce, click-and-collect
as well as other ones.

Implement a single umbrella e-commerce platform

offering real added value;
commercialize it
and advertise it.

If in this covid-19 times you…

…have the following problems:

  • how to adjust real estate marketing to the owner’s business goals,
  • our property, as a product, needs a change on the market,
  • how to set priorities in the marketing budget,
  • lack of a perspective view of the effects of our marketing work,
  • worries about the effectiveness of our marketing activities (ROI),
  • lack of objective measures of our marketing activities,
  • issues with finance executives, who see shopping centre marketing only as a cost;

…are looking for answers to the following questions:

  • It is necessary to cut 20% of the marketing budget of our shopping centre, what should we give up?
  • Our goal is 30% footfall increase after reopening, where should we look for reserves?
  • What actions realistically (not declaratively) affect the current and future turnovers of our shopping centre?
  • Which marketing activities bring us the best return on investment and when?
  • How can we optimize our marketing expenses and link them to results?
  • What are our actual indicators of the impact of marketing on the turnovers of our shopping centre?

…want to be able to:

  • have a recovery after-pandemic marketing plan focused on real results,
  • demonstrate the relationship between marketing activities and shopping centre turnovers,
  • replace statistical analyzes with creative results-related marketing activities,
  • justify your marketing budget in a language understandable for accountants and financial executives,
  • predict the behavior of consumers in the marketing plan

…we can help:

+48 601 421 321

about us

Agencja doradztwa strategicznego w zakresie komunikacji,
budowania relacji oraz marketingu omnichannel działająca na rynku od ponad 20 lat.