Tough market: Malls getting creative to attract, keep tenants

A Section of The Karen Hub mall

The competition for tenants in malls is pushing mall owners and managers to get creative to attract and retain clients. Some have come up with trainings and workshops to train their clients on customer care among other disciplines.

First, it was Thika Superhighway’s Garden City which rolled out a programme to train tenants on best business practices that would enable them to attract more customers and increase sales.

The mall’s marketing manager Ruth Wako said the move is aimed at helping the traders maximise sales.

“We have organised to have a retail specialist train our tenants on best practice in regards to retailing. This includes training them on customer service, window display, social media and so on,” Wako by a local daily as saying.

She disclosed that they had continued to attract a good number of clients and shoppers, which had caused their occupancy rate maintained at 98 per cent.

Following Garden City closely is The Hub Karen Mall. Just like Garden City, the mall is now hosting workshops and seminars for its tenants to help them improve retail experience for their clients.

High expectations

“We want to encourage the retailers in The Hub to see customers with new zeal and enthusiasm. Customers are inundated with choices; they need to make decisions about what to do, where to eat and what to buy all the time. Customers expect good service and have high expectations about how services and things are sold to them,” said Jonathan Jonathan Yach, The Hub manager.

He added: “In seeing customers in this different light, The Hub asks its retailers to encourage their shop sales staff to enjoy the skills enhancement training sessions in visual merchandising, appreciation of research, how to best use social media and the basics of customer service.

Yach said this may not be so much a new trend in Kenya but is certainly a necessary one, one that is accepted by its retailers.

The management said their aim is to ensure tenants to build a world-class retail landscape locally.

“The key to good customer service is equipping tenants with the necessary skills for them to deliver an exceptional shopping and lifestyle experience to their customers,” The Hub Karen management said in a statement.

“Our tenants’ success is very important to us at The Hub Karen and we will continuously invest time in supporting them,” Yach said.

Competition among malls for tenants has come under focus of late, with concern raised over the high number of malls being constructed.

Property indices have indicated that Nairobi was fast becoming saturated.