Lincoln Plaza, Moravia
Lincoln Plaza, Moravia

QCOSTARICA- “Ferias” or sidewalk sales, although not new, but highly effective, is a strategy malls in Costa Rica are using to attract more visitors, in times when Costa Ricans are becoming less loyal to one single shopping centre.

According to the latest Consumer Profile (Perfil del Consumidor) by the El Financierio, on average consumers visited 3.4 shopping centres last year; in 2014, the number of 2.3; and the year before that, 2.4.

Among the most visited are Paseo de las Flores (Heredia), Multiplaza (Escazu), Plaza Real Cariari (Heredia), Lincoln Plaza (Moravia) and City Mall (Alajuela).

City Mall, Alajuela
City Mall, Alajuela

Malls use the Ferias to promote housing, car, ecohealth, weddings, tourism and even anime, comics and cartoons to attract visitors. Tops in this strategy are Paseo de la Flores, with at least 10 Ferias a year and Plaza Real Cariari, which has been having Ferias for the last 11 year, on average two a month.

“With these activities, we can offer novelty, variety, fun and other attractions are not necessarily part of the normal operation of the shopping centre,” said Ivannia Fumero, general manager of the Plaza Real Cariari.

Malls see Ferias as an added value and give small entrepreneurs an opportunity to showcase their products to consumers, a win-win.

Besides the malls, commercial centres like Avenida Escazu, catering mainly to a high-end consumer, is applying the Feria strategy as well. Every Saturday, Avenida Esczau holds the Mercado Comtemporáneo from 9:00am to 2:00pm.

Combai Mercado Urbano, Escazu
Combai Mercado Urbano, Escazu

Across from Multiplaza Escazu, on the Ruta 27, Combai Mercado Urbano opened its doors last year. The urban market is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 11:00am.

Owners of shopping centres are realizing they have become less attractive for eating and shopping.

Source: El Financiero