Philadelphia retailers unite to sell city as a prime business location

The Philadelphia retail community needed to update its image. "People outside the area didn't have an accurate idea of what was happening here," says Michelle Shannon, marcomms VP for Center City District, a Philadelphia Retail Marketing Alliance member.

Client Philadelphia Retail Marketing Alliance (Philadelphia)

PR agency LevLane (Philadelphia)

Campaign Be In On It

Duration Ongoing

Budget $203,000 total

The Philadelphia retail community needed to update its image. "People outside the area didn't have an accurate idea of what was happening here," says Michelle Shannon, marcomms VP for Center City District, a Philadelphia Retail Marketing Alliance member.

The campaign had two main objectives: to educate the public about the city and attract new and high-end retailers to it.

Strategy

LevLane, AOR for Center City District, and Shannon began by reaching out for help to come up with a tag line and creative support materials.

The firm developed the "Be In On It" tag line and created brochures, booklets, and the Philadelphiaretail.com website.

Tactics

The alliance attended the local International Council of Shopping Centers conference in September, as well as the one in New York in early December.

In October, it sent out 300 brochures and booklets to brokers and tenant representatives. It also sent boxes with branded items to high-end retail operations with invitations from Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter for an overnight stay. Follow-up phone calls were made and meetings were set up to discuss the possibility of expanding to Philadelphia.

Results

Of the high-end retailers who received the boxes, there was a 60% positive response rate. A six-page cover story was also placed in the September issue of Shopping Center Business.

Since the campaign launched, the city's net vacancy rate only rose .3%, despite the recession, and more than 20 retail stores and restaurants have opened.

Future

The alliance will continue to build relationships with the responsive high-end retailers.

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