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Birchler: The power of retail is strong at Scottsdale Fashion Square

photo of Scottsdale Fashion Square
Kate Birchler, above, is a 26-year resident of Scottsdale and the assistant vice president of tourism marketing for Macerich Shopping Centers & Fashion Outlets. (Submitted Photo/DigitalFreePress)

Scottsdale Fashion Square offers best-in-class retail of the Valley

By Kate Birchler | Point of View

Whether it’s the therapeutic effects that release dopamine that make us feel good or the sense of accomplishment when we find the perfect gift for someone, shopping is not only a favorite pastime of U.S. residents, but also visitors coming from far and wide.

In fact, shopping is the No.1 activity for Scottsdale’s 9.6 million U.S. visitors, and it is hugely popular with the city’s 1.2 million international visitors. At Macerich’s Scottsdale-area shopping centers, including Scottsdale Fashion Square, domestic and international visitors account for a quarter of annual traffic and sales.

Visitors are in the unique position to have more time to browse and often come ready with money to spend, and because they are such important customers for our retail businesses, Macerich has long played an active and engaged role in Scottsdale’s $3.2 billion local tourism industry.

As an anchor within the popular Old Town area, Scottsdale Fashion Square is considered the premier shopping destination in the state, with many stores, restaurants and activities that cannot be found anywhere else in Arizona, like Nobu and Dior. It’s become not only a place for both visitors and locals to shop, but also to dine and be entertained.

Venues such as Desert Stages Theatre, Wonderspaces Arizona, and the soon-to-open Candytopia bring guests looking for unique experiences. No matter their reason for spending time at Scottsdale Fashion Square, visitors are, more importantly, spending their dollars and generating tax revenue to the benefit of the community.

In my role of supporting approximately 20 shopping centers across Macerich’s U.S. portfolio, I’ve built relationships with local destination marketing organizations to reach visitors, media, and travel professionals around the globe. And in Scottsdale, we have a first-class organization that Macerich is proud to partner with: Experience Scottsdale.

We – along with more than 400 other local businesses – can better tell our story to more audiences and new markets through the exposure Experience Scottsdale provides by bringing media, travel professionals, meeting planners, and visitors to our door. Their efforts help position Scottsdale as the shopping epicenter it is, encouraging visitors to explore our retail centers and other storefronts throughout the city.

Scottsdale Fashion Square offers best-in-class retail of the Valley

Scottsdale is on the map as a premier shopping destination.

But no business – large or small – can have the greatest impact by trying to go it alone. I’ve served on our city’s Tourism Development Commission, the Scottsdale Tourism Task Force, and the Experience Scottsdale Board of Directors.

I’ve seen firsthand the importance of driving our visitor industry and ensuring its alignment with the local community for maximum results. It’s through our partnerships with local community organizations, the city of Scottsdale, Experience Scottsdale, and many others that we ensure the greatest success for our business and the community at large.

At Macerich, we want to see not only our retail center thrive but also our community thrive.

Scottsdale Fashion Square’s events and happenings – from murals in partnership with Scottsdale Arts to art installations for Cactus Collective and Scottsdale Stampede – provide even more reasons to stay and play in the destination, all while supporting community organizations and expanding exposure for our arts and culture. Scottsdale Fashion Square and its retailers have raised millions of dollars to support charitable nonprofits, including Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Salvation Army, TGen, and more, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to strengthening the community through impactful partnerships.

Like the thrill of finding the perfect pair of running shoes for your next marathon or the coveted bag your fashionista has been dreaming of, Scottsdale’s tourism industry and shopping are meant to be together. Macerich is committed to ensuring that retail has a voice at the table so that we and our partners can continue contributing to the quality of our visitors’ experiences and our residents’ lives.

Editor’s Note: Kate Birchler is a 26-year resident of Scottsdale and the assistant vice president of tourism marketing for Macerich Shopping Centers & Fashion Outlets

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