Building Appearance is Key to a Successful Shopping Center

by Mat:

building-appearance.jpgWhen people go shopping, their conscious focus is usually on which stores are available and what those stores have for sale. This, at least, is true when the building appearance of the shopping center meets or exceeds their expectations. If the structure appears neglected, this fact will immediately reach conscious notice - and cause the would-be shoppers to go somewhere else. When that happens, the stores begin to move elsewhere as well.

As this shows, maintaining the appearance of shopping center buildings is incredibly important for success. Fortunately, it isn't hard to keep a shopping center looking nice as long as a good maintenance plan is followed. Here are some key things property managers should be quick to maintain:

The Lighting

Nobody wants to shop in a dimly-lit area. Outside, a lack of lights makes people fear crime during dark hours, while inside, dim lighting makes the merchandise look unappealing. Both conditions lower sales, and when the problem is extreme, can force tenants to move to other buildings in order to stay in business.

Maintaining shopping center lighting is easy if the right plan is used. Lighting should never be allowed to run until the point of failure. Instead, bulbs should be replaced before their rated running time has run out. This leaves some hours left on the bulb, but it also ensures that the center always looks its best.

The Floors

A dingy appearance makes the shopping center look as if it has fallen on hard financial times. This is bad for sales on a few levels. It makes people assume that the merchandise can't be all that good, it gives the impression that the shopping center can't afford proper maintenance, and in extreme cases, it can even make it seem as though the center will soon close its doors. Always be sure to rewax the floors on a regular basis so they stay clean and shiny. If the old wax has yellowed or accumulated grime to the point of being stained, don't hesitate to strip it down to the bare floor and apply new layers.

Since a full strip-and-rewax job is laborious, building managers should take steps to keep grime from getting onto it in the first place. One of the most effective methods is to put mats both outside and inside of all entrances. These mats will collect grime from people's feet and hold it in place until they are vacuumed. While floors will always need refinishing at some point, they won't need nearly as much work when effective mats are in place.

Mechanical Aspects

Most building managers realize that the air conditioning and heating have to work well in order to keep people comfortable. It's the seemingly-little things that can sometimes go unnoticed. Make sure to check the operation and cleanliness of drinking fountains, all entry doors, metal security shades, door locks, and other standard accouterments. All of these things are subject to near-constant wear in a mall environment and will need regular repairs to keep them working well.

The Bathrooms

It's easy for maintenance people to ignore bathrooms. This is partially because of their somewhat off-putting function, but it's also a result of their behind-closed-doors nature. Make sure to have your cleaning staff go in repeatedly - every half-hour is not too often in a busy shopping center - and spruce them up. Any noted mechanical failures, such as in soap dispensers and stall locks, should be fixed right away. Customers will definitely notice and remember the condition of these rooms and everything in them the moment they need to use them.

These are some of the top ways you can keep a shopping center looking nice and attracting customers. Just contact us if you'd like more ideas.

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