Creating Something VERY special | Velocity Worldwide


Castlepoint Shopping Park, England Creating Something VERY special

The Background & Challenge

Castlepoint Shopping Park is the largest outdoor shopping park in the UK. Shortly after the scheme opened in 2003, problems with the construction of the car park were identified and Castlepoint had to temporarily close while the car park was made safe, with a longer-term solution for reconstructing the car park to be resolved. In 2018, the reconstruction began with the work being completed over five years. Because the car park sits at the centre of the scheme, the works during the initial phase had considerable negative impact on footfall and sales.

The rationale behind this campaign was to drive sales and footfall over Saturdays throughout the summer, as this day which was previously the busiest for the scheme had suffered the most since the works started with people choosing to shop in the town-centre where they could also enjoy the beachfront cafes and restaurants which was in stark contrast to the ‘construction’ environment at Castlepoint.

Additionally, Castlepoint offers very limited leisure options with only Costa, Nero and M&S as food options and has no seating /al fresco area.

The Solution

We knew that we had to create something to attract people on Saturdays and that it needed to be enticing enough to draw traffic to Castlepoint, generate local buzz, and speak to a secondary catchment of tourists that come to town during summer. We wanted it to be a signature USP of the centre and a chance to connect with the community, make the public love us and talk about it on multiple channels. To do so, we decided to create a project that would have a strong ethical message, give back to the community, and have legs to stretch beyond the actual period of the activation. So, the ‘Something a bit special’ brand was created, under which a multi-layered campaign was rolled out with a Saturday fine foods market as the focal point.

Community is at the very heart of this project notably:

The Traders: We have chosen a pool of local traders to form the backbone of the new market: strictly based on their ability to offer healthy eating options using local produce.

Sustainable Community Programmes:
Each trader had to pay a small fee to take part in the market and this money was then used to fund two community projects:
1) A free course for 30 people on ‘Eating & Cooking Healthily for the Whole Family’
2) Three primary schools in Bournemouth were selected to get a programme to educate children on healthy living.

The programme offered local musicians, the chance to perform and grow their name. A series of live music events brought the market to life with the music element becoming almost the signature element of the market: the response of the public has grown equally with regulars coming back specially to see what who was playing.

The market also offered the ability for our tenants to showcase their food offering e.g. Costa /Nero showcasing their new vegan options.

The Results

Objective 1: Re-instate Saturdays as the busiest footfall day
This was achieved within one week of launching the market and maintained through the campaign.

Objective 2: Increase average year-on-year dwell time by 10% and average send proportionately
Dwell time increased by 12% year-on-year for the period the market operated and average spend increased by 15%.

Objective 3: Increase organic social media engagement
We increased our organic social media engagement on Facebook by 144%, reaching +67,000 people, driven by a combination of interesting content from the retailers and live social feeds from the event days.
We have also made use of Instagram stories to highlight the day-to-day activities at Castlepoint, including store offers and events with the reach increasing each week and impressions rising over 100% to over 4,000 each week.

Objective 4: Increase customer data base and Improve the ‘excellent rating’ in net promoter score by 10%
575 new sign-ups were added to our shopper database and net promoter score increased by 12%.

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