EXPLORING PLACE MARKETING STRATEGIES OF SHOPPING CENTRES IN SOUTH AFRICA
Journal: Malaysian E Commerce Journal (MECJ)
Author: Roland Goldberg
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC BY 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
The widespread adoption of e-commerce and online shopping has had a profound impact on physical shopping centres globally, exacerbating the already challenging market conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic added to the turmoil, leading to store closures, declining rents, reduced customer footfall, and the closure of entire shopping centres. To counter this trend, shopping centres must adopt innovative place marketing strategies that offer unique product offerings and experiences to attract customers back to physical retail spaces. This study adopts a qualitative approach to investigate the place marketing strategies of shopping centres in South Africa by using a qualitative descriptive research design. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of participants and analysed using the Morse and Field approach in Atlas.ti 23. The findings suggest that South African shopping centres prioritise place marketing using social media as a primary tool and are managed by marketing managers or teams with external agency support. They target families/individuals within a 12-17 km radius based on income and measure success with KPIs. Post-COVID, they aim to improve offerings to meet consumer demand for an improved experience, security, cleanliness, friendly staff and well-being.