Several people mentioned to me that Mayfair Mall was handing out flyers on Saturday during Christmas in the Ward in the Historic Third Ward. And, yes, before you complain, my wife owns a store, Lela, in that neighborhood. Regardless, I found it interesting that a mall would come Downtown to lure shoppers to its destination.
I grew up about a mile from Mayfair, but I've lived Downtown for so long that I rarely get there anymore. Plus, when I do shop malls, I'm more of an outdoor mall guy so I'd rather go to Old Orchard or Bayshore.
I reached out to Mayfair to see what they were up to. Kate Ochowicz, marketing manager at the mall, responded to my e-mail saying "as a part of our marketing efforts this year, we sent street teamers out to a variety of community holiday events including the Holiday Lights Festival, the holiday parade and Christmas in the Ward."
"Our intention," Ochowicz continued, "was to interact with people who were out and about and in the holiday spirit to remind them of the fun and exciting things that Mayfair had planned for the season."
So, was the mall trying to lure people away from the shops and boutiques in the Third Ward?
"It was certainly never our intention to lure shoppers away from local businesses, though looking back we do see how it could be perceived that way," said Ochowicz.
When neighborhood store owners and residents starting noticing the Mayfair street teams this past weekend, I saw several "get out of our neighborhood" type Facebook messages, and one has to wonder if a local store was handing out flyers inside Mayfair whether they'd be welcomed or kicked out.
Yet, I love creative marketing and street teams do work. So, I'm not knocking the tactic. And, the mere fact that Mayfair targeted Downtown and the Third Ward says that both neighborhoods are doing something right. Downtown and local businesses are huge drivers in our economy and Mayfair says it understand this.
"We understand that local businesses are a vital part of our community's economy and Mayfair supports dozens of local merchants as part of our retail mix. Moving forward, we will focus our street team efforts on more general holiday event opportunities, rather than events supported by competing business districts."
Nancy O'Keefe, executive director of the Historic Third Ward Association and BID No. 2, said she talked to the Mayfair street teams on Saturday and even asked one individual why they were targeting the Third Ward. The street team member just said that they "were hired to do this."
Mayfair seems to be done with its guerilla marketing tactics in "competing business district," but I'd like your thought on the subject. Do you have a problem with malls marketing to shoppers in our local shopping districts? Use the talkbacks to react. And, happy shopping wherever and however you choose to do it.
I like Mayfair and I like the 3rd Ward. Would guerilla style marketing by under-age kids make me choose one over the other? I think not.
bunch of cry babies. if the local stores are superior, then they'll prevail. no big deal here
i have not shopped at mayfair in years. i do all of my shopping downtown at boston store, grand avenue and other downtown stores. i believe in supporting downtown businesses including theatres and resturants. now if the marcus theatres would, finally, build their proposed movie theatre complex on water street downtown. it is badly needed. and take more people away from mayfair-- the movie theatre.
Jeff | Dec. 9, 2010 at 1:23 p.m. (report)
If downtown had a thriving retail market (indie boutiques excluded), Mayfair wouldn't feel it could muscle in on the territory. Jeff Sherman goes to Bayshore and Old Orchard? Those malls have the stores downtown should have but doesn't.
Show me the other 5 Talkbacks
10 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jeff Sherman
Published Dec. 20, 2014
The James Steeno Gallery features many unique items, but his Milwaukee area maps really stand out and have caught the attention of many, including our own Nick Barth.
Published Dec. 19, 2014
The Milwaukee Coffee Guild's unique holiday offering, the "Milwaukee Coffee Passport," gets you a free 12-ounce drink at participating local coffee shops.
Published Dec. 18, 2014
Family owned and operated since 1922, A.J. Ugent Furs and Fashions features an extensive collection of furs, leathers, shearlings, woolens for men and women.
Published Dec. 16, 2014
With the holiday seasons in full swing, OnMilwaukee.com, our ShopLocal marketplace and Local First Milwaukee have teamed to offer many unique, local items and deals. Here's the first one.
Published Dec. 10, 2014
The SURG Restuarant Group and owners Michael Polaski and Omar Shaikh have brought together some unique "once in a lifetime" opportunities all to help a friend and military leader with more than 20 years of service.
Published Dec. 9, 2014
Come on, good people of Milwaukee, let's put an end to the phrase "I'll do the ...." It's "may I please have (or order) the honey wheat bagel?" "Thank you." That's how you place your order.
Published Dec. 7, 2014
Thrillist has issued its 2014 list of "The 21 Best New Restaurants in America." And, one Milwaukee restaurant makes the cut.
Published Dec. 2, 2014
They're fun, easy to use, free for those less then 30-minute trips to meetings and a great addition to our city's transit infrastructure. But, after today, they're gone for the season.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
The Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival ornaments are one-of-a-kind keepsakes. Great gifts for family, friends, co-workers and business associates, each year features an iconic Downtown landmark cast in pewter.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
Cracked Designs brings a unique flare and fun to its posters, cards, T-shirts and more.