The flash sale, a reliable marketing tactic for online mega retailers, is currently taking over Minnesota's megamall.
Throughout July, the Mall of America has been offering one-day-only flash sales at various shops, restaurants and attractions — everything from a BOGO free Minibon to 33% off women's sandals at Toms to half-price valet parking.
The deals (you can see the current daily offer and hints at those upcoming here) are part of the mall's "Holly Jolly July" event. It's a summer-time embrace of the December holiday season that was disrupted by COVID-19 last year. Even the 11-foot-tall nutcrackers are out on display.
The flash sales are part of this larger effort, with deals announced every morning at 10 a.m. from July 1-31, and in effect through the end of the day. Shoppers don't need a coupon or anything. The mall says to simply mention the flash sale at the applicable counter.
Julie Hansen, public relations senior media strategist for Mall of America, said the daily draws are "a unique way to help drive traffic to our tenants." She noted MOA has "tested" flash sales as part of different campaigns before, though the most recent trial was in a few years ago and included deals from retailers over multiple days.
This monthlong flash sale promotion, however, comes at an interesting time.
For one, the state is (mostly, though not entirely) coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, which last year kept many in-person shoppers and away from stores and malls. The mall fell behind on its mortgage payments during the pandemic, with the building shut down from mid-March to June of 2020 and foot traffic lagging behind the regular pace of 40 million annual visitors.
Second, competition from online companies, some of which have seen revenues skyrocket over the past 12 months, has only increased.
Amazon sported first quarter sales of $108.5 billion, and the selling giant continues to lean into not just its popular flash sales, but the self-manufactured Prime Day shopping holiday that serves as a glorified string of flash sales.