The Gateway Theatre of Shopping – marketed by Unlimited subsidiary Primedia Lifestyle Marketing Services – has taken first prize at the annual 2012 Times/Sowetan Retail Awards in both the National Shopping Centre and KZN categories.
Commissioned by Avusa Media, the awards showcase which brands scored the highest in brand familiarity, user brand experience, non-user brand perception and brand presence and size as voted for by consumers.
Avusa Media Head of Marketing Intelligence Esmé Deken explains that; “In the case of shopping centres, there are just two criteria: usership and user score. Gateway’s score amongst users was 8.97, 0.86 above average for all malls – a very notable difference. In other words, Gateway shoppers rated their shopping experience at much higher levels than the average for all other shopping centres tested in the survey.”
Other Primedia Lifestyle Marketing Services malls also performed well in the awards with Menlyn Park coming fifth in the coveted Top Shopping Centre category and first runner up in Gauteng. Cavendish Square, Vincent Park, Cresta, Westgate, Southgate, Tyger Valley and Musgrave Shopping Centre also performed well in their respective regional categories.
Overall, Primedia Lifestyle Marketing Services Busisiwe Mahlaba feels that the awards are especially significant as they’re voted for by the shoppers who frequent the malls being rated. “It’s excellent news that our clients remain top of mind thanks to our ongoing marketing efforts, and especially in light of the highly competitive commercial retail space they operate in.”
In terms of Primedia Lifestyle Marketing Services approach to marketing malls, Mahlaba explains that its strategies are anything but ordinary. At the end of the day a centre is a centre so if we are going to continue to pull people into the malls that we represent, we have to present them with elements they cannot find anywhere else and make sure that all the shops in our centres are world class retailers that people seek out.
“To achieve this, we focus a lot on stepping out of the traditional mould of shopping centre marketing. An example of this is our strategy of staging events under one roof. For example, our annual Vodacom Durban July initiative at Gateway, is widely recognised as a world class standard event. You can sit at the fashion shows and other events that make up this annual initiative and you truly won’t be able to tell the difference between it and one in Monte Carlo, London or New York,” says Busisiwe.
A key aspect that will continue to place Gateway top of consumers’ minds in the months and years ahead is the fact that it’s home to a number of innovative, digitally-aligned programmes. These include a holistic loyalty programme that we have just launched that makes use of personalised loyalty cards that feed into a comprehensive consumer database – first of its kind in a shopping centre environment in this country.