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DRIVE TRAFFIC: The Farmer’s Market

America is becoming a nation of foodies and the farmer’s market trend is benefiting from it. Many cities and towns across the country now have farmer’s markets, and they have proven to be a great way to drive traffic. My hometown hosts a farmer’s market (www.birminghamfarmersmarket.org), and it has been a windfall for the merchants.

But would the draw of a farmers’ market benefit malls and lifestyle centers? Absolutely. The Fountains at Roseville in the Sacramento market hosts a highly successful farmer’s market and has seen an increase in traffic, as well as a longer customer stay. Their farmers’ market is on Tuesday mornings, a perfect day and time to drive traffic at an otherwise slow time.

If you are thinking, “Well, my center can’t host a farmers’ market, because it is anchored by a grocery store,” banish the thought. The Fountains at Roseville has a Whole Foods as part of their lineup. A good farmers’ market will actually be a boon to a grocery store and vice versa. The pairing couldn’t be more synergistic.

Driving traffic is reason alone to add a farmers’ market, but it will also:

INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF TIME YOUR CUSTOMER STAYS:

Simply put, the more time spent at your center means more dollars spent.

INTRODUCE YOUR MALL OR LIFESTYLE CENTER TO NEW SHOPPERS:

Your tenant lineup may not be enticing enough for some shoppers in your trade area, but a good farmers’ market will give them a reason to visit.

INCREASE VISIT FREQUENCY:

Your customers may be visiting your center, but you will see them more often.

BUILD YOUR BRAND:

A farmers’ market is an ideal way to have your customers feel good about your center, promote your brand and stand out in the crowded mass of sameness in the retail world.

ENABLE YOUR CENTER TO COMPETE:

You may have the 800-pound gorilla next to your center threatening your shopping center’s existence. A farmers’ market is a way to keep your center competitive.

INCUBATE TENANTS:

From the collection of merchants at your farmers’ market, you may be able to grow a permanent tenant.

Nearly all malls, lifestyle centers and shopping centers can benefit from a farmers’ market. A great market may take your center to the next level or may even save it.

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