How One CVB Is Driving Fresh Interest in Local Retail

The Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau has launched an initiative that aims to keep the L.A.-area city's famed retail stores open into the evening. The campaign is already showing positive results.

In an era when so much of what we buy is shipped directly to our doors is great for us, but it can create a lot of problems for tourist areas known for their shopping.

Y’know, like Beverly Hills, California.

Fortunately, the Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau, the destination marketing organization for the city known for its famous Rodeo Drive shopping district, is all over it. A few months ago, the city, at the behest of  BHCVB, made some major promotional changes.

In August, it launched Beverly Hills Open Later Days (BOLD), which kept retailers open as late as 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays and offered discounts at nearby restaurants.

According to BHCVB CEO Julie Wagner, the group wanted to take steps to keep the area vibrant after 6 p.m.—a time when the city quickly falls asleep as retail outlets close.

“One of the main things that our organization has really been actively looking at is how do we keep Beverly Hills relevant,” Wagner told Women’s Wear Daily in August. “We don’t want to end up falling out. We need to make sure we keep things fresh here.”

While the BOLD endeavor was initially limited to the month of August, Wagner recently told Skift that since it was successful in driving a 30 percent increase in revenue at area restaurants, BHCVB will put on another version of the event in November that will mix outdoor events like holiday lightings in with the later store hours.

She noted that the work of encouraging businesses to take part falls on the CVB, in part because no contracts are mandated, and retailers must feel that they’re seeing an immediate benefit from the later hours.

“It really has to be massaged into being. Retailers said they need more activities and events happening for them to make the investment because they have to pay for additional employees,” she told Skift.

She added that this could prove a major benefit for the city as a whole, as it attracts people from Los Angeles County and beyond—though it’s taking care not to change its brand calculus too drastically.

“We don’t want to alienate our current bread and butter,” she added.

(benedek/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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