HOME20200417providing the wow factor at swansgate
Apr 17, 2020

Providing the ‘wow’ factor at Swansgate

The challenge

Swansgate is a community shopping centre situated in the heart of Wellingborough near Northampton providing the only covered retail facility within the town. Covering 285,000 sq ft and with 63 tenants, Swansgate was struggling to present their offering within the surrounding community. With no major anchor store, lack of ‘wow’ factor for both younger and more upmarket shoppers and the opening of competition only 4.5 miles away, Swansgate required an innovative marketing strategy to increase community engagement and footfall within their centre. 

February 2019 saw Toolbox Marketing appointed to provide full-service outsourced marketing to improve the performance of the centre including event management, tenant liaison, PR, creative, website, social media management, monthly reporting and onsite visits.

Toolbox Marketing’s solution

Toolbox Marketing positioned Swansgate as your local, friendly, easy and reliable choice for value shopping. To create that real community feel and to increase engagement and footfall Toolbox Marketing created new campaigns whilst revamping Swansgate’s existing campaigns, therefore creating a refreshed feel to target the younger demographic, in conjunction with keeping that familiar and reliable personality the centre previously portrayed.

The how: –

  • #somethingforeveryday – encouraged shoppers to invest in their experience rather than materialistic things. The media campaign drives awareness at all levels by increasing social media engagement, reaching a new audience whilst creating loyalty within the Swansgate community.
  • Creation of Cygnets Kids Club – an extension of the original Kids Zone initiative. The Kids Club provides regular events during the school holidays to allow local families to utilise the area and increase customer loyalty by providing specific discounts to Cygnet members. 
  • As part of the Cygnets Club regular activity takes place including a Teddy Bears Picnic once a month and Friendship Fridays every week. 
  • Activated the Community Lounge – an original initiative of Swansgate aimed at the older community. Toolbox Marketing enhanced this by providing more events including Knit and Natter, Board Game Championships and Puzzle Masters to strengthen relationships with existing shoppers and to establish a strong PR campaign to cement the centre’s position as a community hub.
  • Swansgate’s Price is Right – The idea behind this campaign was to highlight #somethingforeveryday whilst promoting the array of good value products on offer at Swansgate and of course having fun.  The promotion runs online and asks shoppers to guess the value of the products in the basket, with the closest guess winning the contents. 
  • Swansgate Sweep – working in partnership with Iceland shoppers were invited to apply to take part in the competition and two lucky winners were then given 60 seconds to dash around the supermarket to filling their trolly with as many goods as possible.  
  • Spend and Get – to increase footfall and to drive sales through improved customer experience, this spend driving campaign aimed to inspire shoppers to replace a purchase at the market, supermarket or online with one at Swansgate and reward them for making that decision. This allows Swansgate to actively maintain conversations with their customers and entice them to spend that little extra to get something back as a thank you.

Make it measurable

Objectives Result Difference
Increase the occupier survey score for events & promotions 3.7 average score +0.7% YOY

+0.1% above the average Savills scheme

Increase the occupier survey score for marketing 3.9 average score +0.5% YOY

+0.2% above the average Savills scheme


Increase the awareness of Savills Insight app 


92% of tenants are aware of the app


+42% higher than the average Savills scheme

Increase dwell time by 5%  +25% increase in dwell time 

compared to previous research in 2014


Create a database of 350 members to the Cygnets kids club within a year        


560 members, with over 25% of members attending the events regularly

Drive visitors to the new website, increasing unique visitors by 5% from launch +46% increase in unique visitors +41%
Increase social media followers by 10% +18% increase in followers across the 3 channels +8%
Encourage engagement on social media with a 15% increase +61% increase in engagements across the 3 channels +46%
Engage with 75% of tenants on a regular basis +88.89% of tenants are active on Mallcomm +13.89%


Jo Chapman, Centre Administrator at Swansgate Shopping Centre says: “Toolbox are providing us with full-service marketing services and we have been very impressed with their creativity.  Insights have also been a very valuable tool for us and they have undoubtedly helped us to get the best out of it. The results of our annual occupier survey show just how far we have come in the year we have been working with Toolbox. We look forward to many more successful years working together”.