International Market Place

Challenge:

International Market Place had been a Waikīkī landmark for almost sixty years. For nearly four years, Bennet Group worked with owners, Taubman Centers, to prepare for the December 31, 2013 closure and subsequent redevelopment and grand opening of the much-loved market. In an effort to stay true to the spirit of the original market place, and to differentiate International Market Place among its competitive set, Bennet Group worked with Taubman to weave the tale of Hawaiian culture and sense of place through every element of the restored International Market Place.

Strategy:

  • Managed tenant and community relations to avoid and minimize negative response of the closure.
  • Carefully mitigated ongoing development issues, including labor union controversies and iwi kupuna discoveries.
  • Designed a communication plan that touched every aspect of the grand reopening, including: strategic planning, event coordination, public relations, media relations, partnerships and marketing for the grand opening of the center.
  • Kept Hawaiian history alive, incorporating cultural elements through art, food, music, design, architecture, landscaping, programming, and more.

Results:

    • Stories that ran about the closure of International Market Place were nostalgic, not anti-development.
    • On August 25, 2016, the iconic International Market Place, anchored by Hawai‘i’s first full-line Saks Fifth Avenue, reopened to an estimated crowd of 10,000 visitors and kama‘aina.
    • For opening weekend alone, Bennet Group secured over 150 media hits in local and national media with over 14 million impressions, all positive in sentiment.