Conversations with Claus Vol 8 – Shopping Center Property Manager Welcome to another Conversation with Claus, a Skype session with Santa Claus in which he provides solutions to people’s most pressing problems. This month, Santa receives a call from Rob Uwin, a shopping center manager in West L.A.Rob’s shopping center has just completed some renovations and he’s looking for ideas to attract more visitors. Let’s see if Santa can help. Hi Santa! Thanks for all the gifts over the years. Don’t mention it, Rob. It’s all part of the job. You’ve been a good boy for the most part, other than that little misstep back in’79. You mean when I lied and told my mom I felt sick to get out of taking that math test at school? That’s the one. Well, I really did feel sick. Sick with worry that I was going to flunk. Well, that’s okay, Rob. Everyone is a little naughty sometime. Now, what can I do for you today? Well Santa, I could use some advice. Now that my shopping mall is finished with renovations, I need to generate some traffic flow. How can I get previous customers to return, and new ones to come try us? Well Rob, just off the top of my stocking cap, I can think of a few things. It seems to me that you need to make a visit to your mall feel special. As if every day there is as exciting as the holiday season. Interesting. But how do I do that, Santa? Try staging some special events. Live music is always nice. You could set up a center stage and host local school choirs and bands. Announce the concerts in the local newspaper and on your web site. That’s a great idea, Santa! Got any more? How about a fashion show? Your mall’s clothing stores could lend some of their inventory to publicize their businesses. Some of their sales people could even serve as models. Another great idea! Their friends and relatives would be bound to show up and watch too! There are lots of other things you can do too. How about an art walk with drawings and paintings from local galleries or schools? Maybe a used book fair or a farmers’ market? The possibilities are endless. And I’ve saved the best idea for last. What’s that? If you really want every day at your mall to feel as special as the holidays, install permanent holiday-style lighting throughout the property. It doesn’t have to be Christmas to have your property’s tree trunks wrapped and rooflines highlighted with bright and cheery, twinkling lights. Permanent commercial lighting creates a festive, holiday atmosphere all year long, and can help to attract people to visit your shopping center in the evenings to shop or enjoy a family dinner. At Mobile Illumination, they have over 15 years of experience in designing, installing, and maintaining permanent holiday lighting for some of the most impressive commercial properties in Southern California. Why not let them transform your shopping center into a warm, welcoming and more profitable year-round destination? This sounds great, Santa! On another thought, if my property is decorated all year round, how can I create a particularly special experience for my shoppers during the Holiday season? Well, that’s easy, Rob. Mobile Illumination can always add more lighting and themed holiday décor during the holiday season to make the property extra festive and inviting. Your customers and tenants will absolutely love it! Wow Santa, those ideas are some of the best gifts you’ve ever given me! How can I ever thank you? Don’t mention it. Just continue to be a good boy in the future. And keep putting the hot cocoa and cookies out when I come to visit. Until then, have a happy holiday – every day!