The role of communication tools in shopping centre management within the greater Durban area
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In South Africa, the competition between shopping centres has increased significantly over the years due to the increase in the number of shopping centres and the changing shopping behaviour. The success of any shopping centre depends on the revenue generated by customers who frequent the mall to make purchases or use the services of the retail/entertainment outlets. To attract customers to shopping centres, management has to ensure that malls are effectively promoted to relevant stakeholders. Communication is important in any promotional, public relations or marketing activity and should be effective, persuasive and managed in a formal and structured way which fits into the overall goals of the mall. Shopping centre management may use a number of communication tools such as (and are not limited to) advertising, sales promotions, public relations, personal selling and sponsorship. However, do these strategies play a role in generating revenue to promote the overall success of a shopping centre? This dissertation, therefore, sets out to identify and examine the communication tools used by shopping centre managers within the greater Durban area in South Africa. It does so by interviewing marketing managers and the tenant mix of five competitive shopping centres within the greater Durban area in South Africa. Data will be collected from the respondents through questionnaires and an interview schedule. One of the significant results emerging from this study is that the function of tenant relations; promotions; publicity; and public relations plays an integral part in the effective functioning of a shopping centre.