Tips for Filling Vacancies

0507open_1.gifWhile many malls are struggling to fill vacancies, The Mall Howgate has things under control. The shopping center has five new stores opening before the end of this month. All five are independent retailers that fill new niches for the mall, bringing its shoppers a new level of variety.

Centre Manager Suzanne Arikinson attributes this success to a lot of hard work and some very creative networking:

“Two key factors helped us secure our new tenants. Firstly, we actively approached independent retailers in the area that we felt not only had the potential for growth but also offered quality products along with exceptional customer service and merchandising. These retailers were also selling products that were not currently on offer in The Mall which we knew would appeal to our customer base.”

“Secondly, we forged a great partnership with Falkirk Enterprise Action Trust (FEAT), Town Centre Management and Falkirk Council’s Economic Development Team. All parties had a common goal – nurturing new and existing independents in the town. Together we offered a support network for the retailers, giving them advice on how to grow their businesses and also assistance with business planning. For instance Yankee [Yankee at Home, one of the new retailers] started out on an Retail Merchandising Unit and we worked closely with the retailer to develop the offering into the first Yankee store in Scotland.  Both FEAT and the council also provided funding to help the independents with their shop fits and their initial start up costs.”

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