Retail malls recognized a long time ago that incorporating a smiling, jolly Santa Clause into the mall marketing mix during the months of November and December was a great way to drive more shoppers into stores and activate sales. Retail marketing professionals refer to this strategy as “holiday activation”,   but whatever it’s called, the strategy works. In fact, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Holiday months of November and December account for nearly 20 percent of annual sales inside malls. In addition, ICSC found that 50 percent of parents with kids aged 13 or younger plan to make a trip to a shopping center for the specific reason of visiting Santa Claus.

R.T. Clown Inc. is an event planning and management company headquartered in Manhattan Beach, and has been providing Santa Claus performers to malls across Southern California for since 1985.

“From a retail perspective, we really understand the importance of incorporating Santa Clauses into malls during the holiday months,” said Robin Charin, company director for R. T. Clown Inc. “It’s not just about providing something cliché or typical, it’s about working with mall owners and marketing directors to create an environment that attracts and engages customers, while also promoting as many stores as possible within the mall. We provide real bearded Santas who can sit on a decorated chair and talk with children about the North Pole, reindeers and presents, or we can provide strolling Santa Clauses that wander throughout the mall grounds promoting certain stores or an event within the mall,” said Robin.

Robin, who has become a sort of an informal expert when it comes forecasting holiday excitement, predicts that this holiday season should be a good one. In fact, according to the ICSC, sales across all platforms and channels are expected to be 3.5 percent higher than last year’s sales. In addition, the organization predicts that 90 percent of shoppers will step into a retail store or mall sometime during November and December to experience that Yuletide feeling of the holidays. Even millennials, who are notoriously more comfortable with ecommerce technology than over-the-counter transactions, will be entering malls in droves this holiday season, according to a recent ICSC press release.

“Understanding how to connect with shoppers via professional Santa performers is what makes R.T. Clown Inc. one of the most sought-after event planning and entertainment companies in Southern California,” said Robin.

R.T. Clown is considered the leading provider of real bearded Santa Clauses throughout Southern California, and has been providing real bearded Santa’s for the Westfield Shopping Mall Group since 2001. In addition, R.T. Clown has provided authentic Santas to the Center Club of Orange County, the Moorpark Country Club, Marina City Club, and the Sherwood Country Club.

Robin takes the business of Santa Clause marketing so seriously, that she insists all of her professional Santa’s are members of The Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas (FORBS), an Orange County non-profit, member-only organization that promotes the positive image of Santa, by serving the community, community groups and organizations of all kinds. The group aims to enhance the spirit of Christmas and the joy of being Santa by fostering the spirit of fellowship among our members with social events throughout the year.

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