The mall industry is expanding and with it the ability for brands to reach consumers in this environment. John Faia, GM of Mall Ads™ outlines the growth of the industry and how it provides more opportunities for brands to communicate with consumers at the point of purchase.
Over the past few years in South Africa we have witnessed a significant growth in the mall industry. Malls have become an integral part of the South African lifestyle and are considered ‘the third place’ for many consumers, after the ‘first place’ which is home and the ‘second place’ which is work. There are over two thousand malls in the country and the number is set to grow. In fact, in terms of mall numbers, South Africa is ranked sixth globally behind the United States of America, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom and China[i].
The mall culture inherent in South Africa, and its ability to sustain an increasingly diverse and economically viable consumer profile, is evident in mall refurbishments, extensions and the development of new mega-malls. While the major cities already boast extremely large mall developments such as Sandton City, Canal Walk and the class leading Gateway Mall, consumers are also being offered new and exciting mega-mall shopping destinations.
For example, in 2016, the Mall of Africa opened its doors to shoppers who now have access to 131,000m2 of retail space within the Waterfall City precinct in Midrand. It is also the largest African mall to be built in one single phase. This was followed by the opening of ‘Africa’s largest mall’ – Pretoria’s Menlyn Park Shopping Centre – which now has floor space of 177,000m2. The Fourways Mall is currently being re-developed as a new destination, boasting a total of 175,000m2 of space and is set to open in 2018.[ii] These mega-mall developments are not necessarily detracting from existing malls, but are expanding the offering in line with the growth of the population and its needs when it comes to retail, entertainment and services.
This is good news for the economy and for brands wanting to gain access to consumer purchasing share of pocket. Malls offer an ideal environment for targeting consumers and capitalizing on their desire and ability to spend. There are numerous opportunities to engage and communicate with consumers in this environment. With clever creative, excellent strategy and memorable execution brands can become part and parcel of the consumer’s shopping bag.
Benefits of advertising within a mall environment
- Shopping mall advertising provides access to a desirable audience already primed to spend money.
- The environment is captive with slow-moving foot traffic providing numerous opportunities for brand engagement.
- Brands can access a wide LSM bracket and can capitalize on targeting a desired income group within specific geographic areas.
- Advertising campaigns can incorporate a variety of key touchpoints to ensure that consumers notice and engage with brand messaging. Advertising can also direct consumers to a store.
- There is enormous opportunity for campaigns to be innovative and make use of new digital platforms
- Brands can capitalize on the fact that consumers are in close proximity to point of purchase.