“Events as strategic marketing tools in shopping centres”.
Authors: Sadd, D. and Chapman, L.
Journal: Event Management: an international journal
This article aims to investigate how UK shopping centers can strategically use event spaces as marketing tools, through identifying the needs of their key stakeholders. The study uses a large shopping center outside of London as its case study as it reputably has the largest dedicated events space of its kind in the UK. Both primary and secondary research was conducted. Secondary research was undertaken in order to establish how and why marketing is used in shopping centers through the types of entertainment used, and how these are accessed by different typologies of shoppers. Stakeholder theory was also explored in relation to tensions that may exist within the different stakeholders involved. Primary research was then conducted in order to establish if such tensions exist, within the strategic use of the event space. This was in the form of semistructured interviews, with eight store managers and three of the leadership team from the shopping center. This is therefore a property-led approach as opposed to a customer led focus. The conclusions drawn showed the necessity for regular stakeholder analyses, as situations change and new events are introduced. This research is only based on one shopping center based in UK so may not be representative of all UK shopping centers. However, implications can impact any form of shopping center or mall. No direct contribution in this study is to customers/shopping center visitors although the management team has undertaken customer surveys to support the framework. The framework of strategic shopping center/mall event management was formulated to support retailtainment objectives. This was deemed crucial in the growing market for entertainment through events in shopping centers and malls.
Preferred by: Debbie Sadd