Protect your company’s investment with these five ideas for making a great first impression.
Contrary to what you may read, the retail industry is not dying, but it has become harder than ever to get customers to put down their phones and computers and pay a visit to our locations.
People want to shop in places that look inviting, fun, safe, and have an appealing tenant mix of both quality stores and, if the location merits it, solid dining options. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain the appearance of your property from storefront to the street. When properties are neglected, they can contribute to neighborhood decline, lower property values, and even crime. When shoppers are given a welcoming, enjoyable environment, they stick around longer – and hopefully spend more.
Depending on the age of your shopping center, it may be time to consider upgrading the appearance. Here are five ways to do so.
You’ve got a lot of competition, online and offline. Create new reasons for your customers to visit your center.
In a world that becomes more digitally oriented every day, operating a brick-and-mortar retail location can seem daunting. There’s no denying that online shopping has increased in recent years, but according to a recent Pew Research Center survey, 64 percent of Americans still prefer to buy from a physical store, and RetailNext pegs 94 percent of all retail sales stemming from a store.
Still, with the majority of Americans believing they can find a better deal online, it’s important as a property manager to get creative in finding ways to get new feet onto your property. You can do that by creating engaging experiences that shoppers can’t get on the web.
So if that guy you paid to dance on the side of the road spinning a sign scared away as many people as he brought in, here are a few other ideas to try.
Do your homework or risk major delays to your sign approval.
When I started in the commercial signage business 27 years ago, we could walk into a city or county permitting office and, 15 minutes later, leave with an approved sign permit.
These days, if you choose to wait, you’ll be sitting in that same office for about five weeks on average.
I love everything about the signage business, but after nearly three decades, the most challenging part remains the permitting process. Regulations have become more challenging, establishing overall height, setbacks from the street and nearby structures, square footage allowances for text, distance between signs, and the number of signs that a property is allowed to have.
Rules and regulations – which vary depending on whether it's a commercial, industrial, or residential zone – are done in the name of keeping a pleasant aesthetic to streetscapes and skylines (although beauty is in the eye of the beholder) and, perhaps more nobly, ensures displays don’t impede right of way and keeps people safe (which we support).
In an otherwise two-party, commercial transaction between sign designer/installer and property, the involvement of government bureaucracy can quickly slow down business. And sometimes, these stringent regulations can kill a project altogether.
Here are eight tips I’ve learned over the years to get through it as fast as possible and keep your project on track.
Ad Vice Studios
David Goodwin is the president of Ad Vice Studios, a Richmond, Va-based marketing services company. David has built his career and his business collaborating with property managers, developers and architects to transform commercial properties into attractive destinations with unique brands and customer experiences.