Pacific Retail Capital PartnersPacific Retail Capital Partners
Pacific Retail Capital PartnersPacific Retail Capital Partners

Colonie Center In Albany Becomes Gamers’ Paradise By Transforming Center Court into Pokémon Go Arena

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Colonie-Center's-Center-CourtPacific Retail Capital Partners Shopping Centers Across Nation Dramatically Increase Traffic and Sales through Creative Pokémon Marketing Campaigns

ALBANY, NY – August 16, 2016. On August 6, Albany New York shopping destination Colonie Center, managed by Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP), transformed itself into a Pokémon paradise, attracting dedicated gamers and curious locals to launch a month-long Pokémon celebration.

“We saw very early on our shoppers were enjoying Pokémon Go and that it’s primarily a social interaction. We immediately knew we wanted to create something to enhance that experience,” explained Susan Spaccarelli, Marketing and Business Development Manager for Colonie Center. “Pokémon Go has inspired the term augmented reality. They brought the real world into their game. We thought, let’s flip that idea and bring the game into the real world for everyone to enjoy right here at Colonie Center.”

To bring Pokémon to life for all its guests, Colonie Center transformed its Center Court into a Pokémon Go Gym with a large Poké Ball image on the floor, team banners hanging from the ceiling, cutouts of characters throughout the Center and team members in costume taking pictures with guests. The Center also partnered with local businesses Digital X-press, CAP COM Federal Credit Union, and three radio stations for a launch event on August 6. Each radio station represented a different Pokémon team and playfully pitted its listeners against each other prior to and onsite at the event. Pokémon themed hats and back-to-school drawstring bags were also distributed to lucky guests while supplies lasted.

Overall, the mall saw an increase in traffic of more than 44 percent. This resulted in double digit increases in sales for many of the Colonie Center’s tenants.

August 6th Pokémon Event Results:

  • More than 1,400 people attended from as far as New Jersey, Vermont and Massachusetts
  • People began lining up at 9 a.m. for the 2 p.m. Free Hat Giveaway
  • The event hashtag #CCPokeCatch is the most used hashtag ever for Colonie Center
  • Total Facebook Event Reach: 54,975 (240% increase)
  • Facebook page actions have increased 150%
  • Tenants in store sales increases ranged from 11% to 100% with some retailers experiencing double foot traffic YTD.
  • Social media, local, and national media coverage of the event continues to grow

The Colonie Center Pokémon Go Catch celebration continues through September 5 (Labor Day). Guests that take a photo with the hashtag #CCPokeCatch are entered for a chance to win a $500 Colonie Center Shopping Spree that will be awarded on September 6.

Pokémon Driving National Shopping Center Sales

Colonie Centers’ successful event is part of Pacific Retail Capital Partners (PRCP) nationwide marketing efforts to leverage Pokémon Go mania as a way to meet shopping center guests’ needs and increase local retailer traffic and sales. Several of their other properties across the nation have also launched successful Pokémon campaigns.

“As part of our corporate local, social, mobile marketing strategy, we brainstormed with each of our eight shopping centers when the game first launched. We asked each team to be creative and responsive to their community’s preferences, to leverage the available Pokémon Gyms or PokéStops, and to drop lures strategically to increase traffic and sales,” explained Najla Kayyem, Vice President of Marketing for Pacific Retail Capital Partners. “Our shopping destinations work hard to bring the community together and create a sense of place and belonging for guests and tenants, and it is gratifying to see such a tremendous response to their efforts.”

Paseo Nuevo Shops and Restaurants, a PRCP shopping destination in Santa Barbara Calif., was an early adopter and promoted Pokémon Go hunting as soon as the game launched. The shopping center has seven PokéStops and two Gyms. Through social media, Paseo Nuevo is capturing playing groups and Yelp reviews for the center all hours of the day and night. Wi-Fi usage in July spiked to 15,236 sessions (up 6,967 sessions or 46 percent over the previous month) due in large part to Pokémon Go. Retailers are also utilizing lure modules to attract traffic during slower times. For example, 805 Boba, a Bubble Tea restaurant at Paseo Nuevo, not only created a Poké Ball Boba, but their lure has significantly increased afternoon sales. The shopping center has also added a Pokémon directory listing with a site map to assist Pokémon hunters:

Another PRCP property in New York, Broadway Mall on Long Island, is also leveraging the trend to increase foot traffic and sales. Broadway Mall has two PokéStops and one Poké Gym as well as signage and seating areas for players to sit and charge phones between adventures. Hot Topic, Journey’s and Claire’s ordered Pokémon apparel and accessories that pushed sales, while Forever 21, GameStop and H&M report double digit increase in foot traffic due entirely to people finding Pokémon at their locations.

Finally, Eastridge Center, a PRCP shopping center in San Jose, Calif., held a Pokémon event August 5 that saw positive in-person and online response. The social media event reach was 52,600 and total online views were 6,200 under the hashtag #pokeeastridge. The next event is planned for September 2, and in addition to the free food, giveaways, music and Lures being dropped; the Center will give out Pokémon hats and create a Poké Marker for the event start.

“National technology analysts have suggested that Pokémon Go and other similar mobile games could transform the shopping center experience,” said Steve Plenge, Managing Principal of Pacific Retail Capital Partners, Operating Partner of Colonie Center. “Our leadership teams, both at the national and individual shopping center’s level have anticipated such a shift and continue to stay ahead of it through center renovations and technology enhancements, increased online and social media engagement and proactive marketing efforts such as those at Colonie Center, Broadway Mall, Eastridge Center and Paseo Nuevo Shops and Restaurants.”

Pacific Retail Capital Partners oversees all operations and the recent renovation at Colonie Center. The company has significant experience in the management, leasing, marketing, and repositioning of large regional shopping centers. In addition, the company partners with specialty firms such as Clifton Realty Management, which is a leasing partner at Colonie Center.

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About Colonie Center

Featuring over 100 specialty and department stores, as well as popular dining establishments and a 13-screen, all-digital Regal Cinema, Colonie Center provides a dynamic and welcoming shopping experience in the heart of New York’s Capital Region. Anchored by Boscov’s, Macy’s and Sears, the center features Whole Foods, Nordstrom Rack, J. Crew Mercantile, Sephora and a wide array of the area’s top retailers. Visitors can enjoy a bite at The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro or 12 other high-quality onsite eateries. Local shoppers have voted Colonie Center their favorite shopping center for the past nine years in a row in a Times Union readers’ poll. For more information, visit