An outdoor shopping mall offers a lot of reasons for people to visit it, but there can be challenges to draw a crowd in the winter. While the stores themselves will be warm and inviting, shoppers may not immediately be keen on the idea of walking between stores in cold and windy conditions. If you manage an outdoor shopping mall and you're concerned about a drop-off in customers over the winter months, it's a good idea to put some plans together that will keep your location busy even when the weather is less than appealing. Here are some suggestions.

Have Winter Sales

While you might not be able to tell the individual stores in your outdoor mall what to do, it's worthwhile to discuss a large-scale wintertime sale with the individual store managers. If you can get everyone on board, you can then begin to publicize the sale. The more stores that take part, the more reasons that shoppers will have to visit the mall — so it's in every store's best interest to offer some deals during this time frame. Time your sale during a time that the mall tends to be quieter. For example, it may be busy during December, but traffic may then drop off in January or February.

Arrange Some Treats

Outdoor malls commonly have a variety of restaurants and food stores, so get them involved by having them hand out samples to customers. Advertising an event that has treats from servers who walk throughout the outdoor mall can be highly appealing to shoppers. For example, a chocolate store can give out small samples of its chocolates to shoppers. This may compel people to visit the store who wouldn't otherwise, which can be an easy incentive for the store to get involved. If you have several restaurants and stores contributing in this manner, you can create an enticing environment for your wintertime shoppers.

Offer Entertainment

It's also worthwhile to explore what entertainment you can offer shoppers at your outdoor mall during the wintertime. Local musicians, for example, might jump at the opportunity to perform for patrons — under some infrared heaters — and your shoppers will likely appreciate the festive mood that live entertainment can provide. Look for musical acts that will appeal to people of all ages. For example, a group that plays jazz music can make for some nice background noise that many of your shoppers will appreciate.

Contact a company like Peninsula Town Center today for more information and assistance.