Marketing A task still ahead for Stonebriar is establishing its brand identity and attracting customers to the new mall. "This is a very sophisticated market in the world of regional malls and we're going up against the best of the best," Nicklas says. Stonebriar will be one of the largest malls in the Dallas/Fort Worth area when it opens in August. "We really have to use this opening to establish our brand identity," she says.
The image General Growth is trying to establish is an upscale, yet inclusive mall with retailers that span a variety of price points. The General Growth marketing team is working to get the message out that Stonebriar has the best overall shopping to offer the Dallas/Forth Worth market with top retailers, entertainment and several restaurants, Nicklas says.
One way that Stonebriar will convey its brand identity is through a lifestyle magazine that will be direct mailed to more than 50,000 homes in the trade area. The magazine will feature both advertising and editorial copy on topics ranging from fashion trends and community information to mall events and property amenities. Stonebriar also will also host a premier gala to celebrate the mall's opening and raise funds to help Dallas win the bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
In addition, Stonebriar will kick off grand opening day with a breakfast-of-champions-themed event. Former athletes and olympians will be at ther mall with expected crowds of more than 10,000. General Growth moved up the original mall opening to coincide with the kick-off of Texas' tax-free weekend. The second annual event held throughout Texas features no sales tax on select items such as apparel. The tax-free weekend is a big draw for shoppers. "It's a huge incentive. Last year, our properties saw 200 to 300% increases in sales," Nicklas says.
General Growth is working to add additional incentives to attract shoppers to Stonebriar versus other shopping centers offering the same tax-free perks. For example, Stonebriar will be giving away commemorative canvas tote bags to the first 5,000 shoppers. Grand prize giveaways throughout the weekend include a $200,000 custom-built house, a Chrysler PT Cruiser and a vacation for a family of four.