The sales numbers aren’t in yet, but already managers of Braintree’s South Shore Plaza are saying that the 2012 holiday season was a success.
“What I can say from my observations is I believe our traffic numbers were up,” said mall manager Vicki Bartkiewicz.
“I believe our sales would probably be up only because of the amount of various retailer bags I saw customers carrying in the holiday. Some of my conversations from retailers said not only were the traffic and transactions brisk, but in the weekends the traffic was heavy from Black Friday through Dec. 24. Just on observation, I would say we had a good holiday.”
Despite a slightly sluggish economy, the expectation was that the shopping season would be successful, especially after the mall had seen higher sales numbers throughout the year, Bartkiewicz said.
Even managing the crowds and activity went well this year, with little to no problems.
“We’re pretty seasoned here,” Bartkiewicz said. “We’re experienced with keeping the traffic flow with the assistance of Braintree police or our own security staff. We still [have] those people fighting over a parking spot, but it all went well. I don’t see a need for improvement, but we’ll keep an eye out for that.”
Bartkiewicz and the management team, including recently appointed General Manager Rick Tonzi, will sit down to discuss a full recap of the holiday season within the next few weeks.
A similar discussion will occur between Tonzi and Braintree’s Town Council sometime this month.
Yet at this point things seemed to have gone smoothly, and new initiatives, such as a Surprise and Delight campaign – offering unexpected gifts to random customers – went very well, she said.
“That was a program that was new that I think [we] will probably continue. Maybe not just the holiday season, but maybe through some of our peak selling seasons, but we will definitely do it next holiday,” Bartkiewicz said.
The new holiday decorations and Santa set up also went over well with customers, who had favorable feedback about the new designs.
In previous years, approximately 50,000 people sat on Santa’s lap. This year that increased five to seven percent, Bartkiewicz said.
Although the bulk of holiday shopping seems to be slowing down, Bartkiewicz said the mall will continue to be busy with people using gift cards.
“We’re anticipating another week of solid business,” she said.
Store promotions are also ongoing to entice customers to continue to shop.
“People are taking advantage of that,” Bartkiewicz said. “Hopefully, they are starting their Christmas shopping for next year!”