March 6, 2002, 12:00 AM

Taubman’s web approach gets high marks from analysts

Industry analysts like Taubman Centers Inc.’s approach to integrating the web with mall shopping because it entices customers to malls at a time when discount stores and other non-mall retailers are making significant gains in market share.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

Industry analysts like Taubman Centers Inc.’s approach to integrating the web with mall shopping because it entices customers to malls at a time when discount stores and other non-mall retailers are making significant gains in market share. “As people take more of their shopping off the mall, it’s incumbent on mall owners to keep their tenants relevant to consumers,” says Mary Brett Whitfield, senior vice president and director of the E-retail Intelligence Program for consultants Retail Forward, citing gains in market share by such non-mall merchants as Kohl’s Corp., Target Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Taubman revealed last week that its web strategy of featuring specific stores and promotions has drawn traffic to its malls. Among Taubman’s tactics are opt-in e-mails that customers can receive to get deals at mall stores.

The web marketing especially becomes crucial as the traditional department stores, which the smaller mall stores have counted to attract shoppers to malls, lose market share. “The only advertising that in-line stores did was image advertising; they relied on the anchor stores to advertise specials to bring in traffic,” Whitfield says. “But as the department store sector has been challenged, the in-line stores need to re-think how they market and advertise. Taubman is taking a very good approach.”

Taubman operates 31 shopping centers and maintains 30 web sites featuring 4,000 retail tenants. It employs one person at each mall to gather information from each tenant weekly and post it to the web site. Taubman has 350,000 registered web users.

 

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