I received a few emails this morning protesting the decision by the owner of Somersville Towne Center who decided that to increase sales; they will be appealing to the region’s growing Latino population with more family-friendly events and ethnic retailers.
According to Paul Burgarino of the Contra Costa Times, Macerich Co. is putting $250,000 into its promotional budget at Somersville Towne Center off Somersville Road near the Pittsburg/Antioch border.
According to the Contra Costa Times.
The amount of foot traffic at the Antioch mall has increased since the program started in December, he said. On Sunday, about 50 patrons sat and listened to the mariachis play in the center court of the mall. Many who were there said they enjoyed the mall’s experience.
“It used to be you just went from one store to the other. Now, you want to stay a while, go grab a piece of pizza and hang out. I think it’s terrific,” said Francisco Sanchez of Antioch, who was at the mall with his family.
The next phase of the marketing strategy is to try and bring in more community-focused local retailers to fill some of the mall’s vacant spaces, Legaspi said. The key is that current and new merchants find a way to make the Latino community feel welcomed, he said.
There is a sizable niche market in be tapped in the region. The five-mile radius around the mall, which includes Antioch, Pittsburg and some of Bay Point, has a population of just under 153,000, with 34 percent Latino, according to Vanguardia.
The mall underwent a $24 million renovation in 2004, with the bulk of the money going to building the two-story 110,000-square-foot Macy’s. Other fixes included replacing parquet floor with tiles, a new paint job and single-stall restrooms with changing tables.
Antioch paid out $1.7 million toward the renovation in hopes of generating $450,000 in annual sales tax; $750,000 in redevelopment funds and a one-time sales tax payment of $950,000.
The mall has struggled to attract popular national retailers, who local retail brokers say are opting to locate in southeast Antioch and Brentwood area.
My thoughts on this are simple, so what!
If the owner of the mall wants to target 34% of the area, be my guest, I’d prefer a model that goes after all of the area. That is their business decision and their money at work.
Having attended one of the Sunday Latino-themed events back in April, I found it to be enjoyable and inviting to all people and not just Latino’s. It was a festive event with music and dancing while it was very inviting. It was almost like a party within the mall!
I do not believe this is something people should be getting upset over, instead this is something that will actually bring the community together if people just open their minds up.
Here are a couple of pictures I took from the April 29 event which included Antioch Councilwoman Mary Rocha and Oakley Councilman Jim Frazier.