In 2023, we are seeing the evolution of civilisation coming out from the COVID-19 pandemic. Who knew that working from home would be normalised or that hybrid working arrangements would be the new standard for many businesses?
Well, to be honest, these were probably something that would have happened anyway.
However, as a result of the pandemic, they happened much sooner.
Nonetheless, what does this mean for shopping centres who are trying to stand up again after being knocked down by COVID lockdowns and restrictions?
When it comes to advertising, shopping centres are a lucrative avenue for advertisers to explore – and in this blog, you will find out why.
Shopping centres and COVID-19
At the height of the pandemic, non-essential shops, including shopping centres, were closed, meaning that the only shop that you could physically go to were supermarkets selling groceries and essential household goods. With this in mind, the majority of consumers turned to online shopping for the purchase of other goods.
Without a doubt, the pandemic accelerated the growth of e-commerce, influencing consumers to purchase goods online. This led to the downfall of physical shops, with an estimated 17,219 shops having closed down in 2021.
Whilst the pandemic drove the rise of online shopping, it also drove the deterioration of physical storefronts, including shopping centres. Intu Properties, (now previous) owner of the Trafford Centre in Manchester, went into administration in 2020 due to the COVID lockdowns.
Fortunately for the shopping centre itself, as it was a popular and well-known centre, it managed to attract buyers and was eventually acquired by Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments). On the other hand, the same cannot be said for others.
Shopping centres post-COVID
Shopping centres and high streets were hit the hardest during the pandemic as they were already struggling prior to the virus outbreak. Now that we are emerging from lockdowns and restrictions, what will this mean for shopping centres?
Shopping centres definitely should not be overlooked, especially when it comes to their advertising potential. You may be surprised at how shopping centre advertising is an excellent way for brands to increase their reach and build brand awareness.
Despite the obstacles of COVID-19, shopping centres are back up and running, and although they certainly took a hit because of the pandemic, they are as resilient as ever and are still attracting customers.
Advertising offline vs online
Advertising in shopping centres is a fantastic way to reach new audiences. The online advertising space is undoubtedly crowded, with ads attempting to catch the attention of the consumer constantly. However, at shopping centres, advertising is much more subtle and fixated at a specific location.
This means that ads will be shown to passers-by, and in shopping centres, this could mean hundreds to thousands of people. Although the prominence of online shopping is a burden on shopping centres, this does not mean that there is no value in the in-person shopping experience.
Shopping with friends and family has become a nostalgic experience that we won’t be ditching anytime soon. For advertisers, this means that now is the prime time for investing in advertising in shopping centres.