January 2023

Maintaining Momentum

Leveraging holiday prosperity and building on seasonal sales.

For so many retailers, the holiday shopping season has become an increasingly critical time of year—now starting earlier than ever. Still, the holiday period is more than just a chance to boost sales and take advantage of increased foot traffic and consumer spending: it’s also an invaluable opportunity to forge strong and enduring connections with new and existing customers—connections that can help maintain sales momentum for years to come.

But what happens when you turn the page on the calendar? For far too many shopping centers, what comes after the holidays is an afterthought. For well-run centers, however, the New Year can and should be viewed as a new opportunity. Tenants and landlords can work together to capitalize on holiday momentum and make sure that the experiential energy of seasonal celebrations and special events carries over into the post-holiday period—and throughout the year ahead.

Keep it Going

Maintaining momentum by prioritizing continuity in programming and consumer communications is one of the best ways to do just that. Ideally, the holiday season impacted both tenants and members of the surrounding community through programming that gave people plenty of reasons to visit.

Avoid letting those new connections fade away by:

  • Deploying promotions and programs specifically designed to encourage or reward return post-holiday visits.For example, Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar at Village at the Peaks in Longmont, Colorado offered a holiday gift card sales promotion that rewarded customers who purchased a $50 gift card with an additional $10 bonus gift card. Not only did this promotion help sway customers back toward Bad Daddy’s, but because $10 is well under the average ticket price at the restaurant, the bonus card also serves as an incentive to come back and spend even more.
  • Leveraging marketing and communications to keep the “conversation” going. NewMark Merrill, for example, maintains a weekly cadence of email communications with our customers and community mailing list, highlighting new or upcoming tenant promotions or highlights. By the way, don’t forget to sign up here.
  • Structuring your budget to allow continued momentum throughout the year. The best run centers avoid the pitfall of slowed performance by optimizing marketing budgets to account for heavy holiday expenditures—leaving plenty of gas in the tank for a post-holiday boost and a yearlong calendar of special events and creative communications.

Pointed Promotions

Another great way to keep the seasonal energy going even after the toasts have been toasted and the confetti has been cleaned up is to deploy promotions specifically designed to resonate with consumers who may be motivated by post-holiday spending limits or New Year’s resolutions:

  • Gyms and fitness centers can provide membership discounts or specials to capitalize on resolutions, and restaurants can also promote the nutritional content of their offerings to tap into that same self-improvement messaging.
  • Entertainment and hospitality venues can deliver messaging and promotions emphasizing self-care or highlighting the convivial warmth and celebratory energy from people coming together to enjoy a drink or a great meal. It’s likely to resonate with consumers looking to break out of their winter doldrums or simply brighten their day by coming in from the cold.
  • Given the ongoing inflationary and potential recessionary pressures facing consumers, businesses of any kind can promote coupon programs aimed at helping families and individuals stretch potentially strained budgets. NewMark Merrill shopping centers, for example, deployed direct-mail coupon books in the 4th Quarter and, to date, 12,654 of those coupons have been redeemed, representing an eye-opening $425,701 in sales driven to our properties.
  • Landlords can also work closely with tenants to amplify their offerings and suggest new promotional ideas or campaigns. Independent tenants that don’t have robust corporate support will generally benefit more from marketing assistance and collaboration—ultimately contributing to a center-wide promotional push.

It’s Better to Give

What better way to recognize the spirit of generosity and community connections forged throughout the holiday season than to keep the spirit of giving going throughout the year?

  • Roll out or expand charitable giving and support programs that emphasize service and philanthropy. At NewMark Merrill, those programs are a direct reflection of our corporate values and team of passionate, inspired organizers who strive to find new and impactful ways to give back to the communities we serve.
  • Whether it’s food donations or school support, acts of service should be a regular part of your operation. At NewMark Merrill, we work with non-profits like Anaheim’s Bag of Hope Project, a volunteer-based organization focused on making the holidays brighter for unhoused children. Just this past year, we collaborated to donate 500 new duffle bags and secured an additional 100 bags donated by our printing partner Eagle Print Dynamics. Our team filled those bags with everything from toys to clothing, a selection consciously designed to simultaneously fulfill necessity and indulge recipients with some of the fun that kids deserve around the holidays.

The connections you build through philanthropic efforts not only make your center an indispensable pillar of the community but also yield new insights you can apply to better serve it. In other words, the holidays might be over, but the relationships, mutual understanding and goodwill that comes with a strong charitable culture is a gift that keeps on giving.

The Buzz @ NewMark Merrill

An opportunity to give back to an organization that has had a deep influence on my life and the lives of so many others.

I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a great deal of inspiring and rewarding professional opportunities in my career. But there are few (if any) professional honors or responsibilities more meaningful to me than my recent appointment as the new Board President of Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. I’ve been an active member of the Board for almost two decades, but my connection to this non-profit organization and its admirable work goes back even further.

As a child, I attended Camp Max Strauss, now called Camp Bob Waldorf, an overnight camp owned and operated by Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters. It was an experience that had a profound and transformative impact on my life. Those camp experiences filled me with deep appreciation for the power of mentorship, inclusivity, teamwork and leadership. They also sparked a lifelong commitment to community service, and even deeper gratitude for the incredible work done by the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters of Los Angeles. Since 1938, Camp Bob Waldorf has provided over 65,000 children with camping and mentorship opportunities often at little or no cost, a key part of the organization’s broader mission to support and empower children in need through one-to-one relationships with caring, adult volunteers focused on strengthening both families and communities in the process.

Appropriately enough, there may be no better example of the positive impact that Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters can have than my own story. I was a kid in need of guidance, direction and support—which is exactly what this organization gave me. Since then, I’ve made every effort to “pay it forward.” In addition to my work with the organization, I have also served on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, the Board of Stephen Wise Temple, and was former Chair of the Real Estate Principals Organization (RPO), the real estate group of the Jewish Federation dedicated to giving and mentoring. I am an active participant in the Community Leadership Institute (CLI), an association dedicated to mentoring young leaders in professional, personal and spiritual development. I am also a longtime member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), an organization for which I have served twice as a Chapter Chair for local chapters and three times as learning chair, most recently for the chapter I helped co-found: YPO Pacific Coast Gold.

Anyone who knows me or my story understands that I view this new responsibility as an extraordinary honor and a privilege, and that I will do everything I can to help this impressive organization continue to fulfill its mission in the months and years ahead.

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