Shopping Center Signage Makeovers Boost Virginia’s Economic Development Makeovers Boost Virginia’s Economic Development

Restoring Life to Virginia’s Aging Shopping Centers


  Brookhill Azalea is one of many Virginia shopping centers where Holiday Signs helped revive cash flow and visual appeal by renovating signage. Research shows that grocery-anchored retail centers have the best survival rates during the toughest economic times, one reason moderate investments in facade and signage upgrades at supermarket-based centers make sense for developers.

Photos of how one of two SHOPPING CENTER ENTRANCE SIGNS was improved. What was once just a “sign on a stick” was transformed into a fresh, new multi-tenant identification sign that compliments the new pylon sign at a second entrance. The new signs allow for tenants to broadcast 24-hour customized digital messaging.    

  • Day/Night Image Not Attracting New Customers and Tenants
  • High Tenant Turnover Rates
  • Negative Economic Impact on Community


  • Updated 24-Hour Street-Appeal More Attractive to Customers
  • Lower Tenant Turnover Rates
  • Improved Economic Impact

Updating “dated” shapes and colors can add new appeal to shopping centers, attracting both new customers and tenants. Adding digital messaging capabilities allows all tenants, big and small, a chance to promote themselves. This is especially valuable at malls and strip centers where many of the non-anchor tenants can sometimes get lost from the viewpoint of the main road.


  Economic development officials understand the importance of healthy retail centers and don’t want commercial properties in their areas to reach the point of decline. I recently asked Mike Davidson, Economic Development Director in Campbell County, Virginia, for his angle on how upgrading signage at declining centers helps. Here are some good points:

  “Renovating and retrofitting existing shopping centers makes good economic sense,” he explained. 

  “Refreshing the visual appearance of properties gives consumers the feeling that something new has happened and helps to retain and improve traffic into those centers.”  

  Mike recommends re-purposing centers when they become vacant with new or different uses to revitalize existing property that has already had considerable investment in installing infrastructure, and he referenced a recent success story of this kind from his area.  

  “This also helps to prevent blight from creeping in to areas,” he pointed out.  

  “Having something nice & appealing rather than worn and old always enhances the opportunity for consumers to want to visit and see what is being offered in those centers,” he said.

  June 2014- Branding- Shopping Center Repositioning blog blurb 2


  Neglected retail centers are often viewed as one of the top culprits of crime and the decline of neighborhoods, conditions that lead to lower property values and tax revenues.  Offering their help for ailing commercial developments, cities and counties across our service area have special matching grants and tax credit programs in place for signage and storefront renovation.


  Here are some Virginia area facade improvement programs I have found on the internet:


International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)


June 2014- Branding- Shopping Center Repositioning footer fixed





Here are a few more articles related to shopping center signs:


How Small Features Can Add Big Punch to Shopping Center Signs

Digital Messaging for Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, DC Shopping Centers