Spring Membership Meeting Recap

Friday, May 13


Year in Review

  • The switch to the new membership model (from pay by event model) has been successful
  • The value of the annual membership is $2,000, yet the price remains $500 (per year)
  • Social Media postings: we post specific promotions being run by members, and we feature “Merchant of the day!” postings on a rotating basis
  • Events: January Jubilation, Spring it On, Mom’s Day Out, Fall into Wellesley Square, Holiday Stroll, Extended Holiday Hours, Mini Golf Event
  • July Jubilation 2015 was a huge success, even with poor weather
  • Mom’s Day Out: based on feedback from the public as well as from members, we are considering renaming it and expanding the timing of it to better appeal to and serve all women, including professional women who work during the day
  • Extended Holiday Hours: we see more people coming into Wellesley Square for dinners at Wellesley Square restaurants, therefore we hope with more Extended Hours promos members will gain more customer traffic from those who are going to or leaving dinner
  • Graphics are made for each event and promotion for members to use; please use them in your promotional emails and other marketing activities
  • Community involvement and support is a high priority for the Association, such as the partnership with the Wellesley Education Foundation (scholarships for Wellesley high school students) and Wellesley Free Library; these will continue and the overall effort will expand whenever possible


Initiatives for 2016-2017

  • We are working to expand our social media following; all merchants, PLEASE FOLLOW US and LIKE US on Twitter and Facebook
  • 18% Off for Wellesley Wonderful Weekend is a joint promotion with Linden Square; normally it’s a quiet shopping weekend for Wellesley Square; with this promotion we hope to capture the excitement of Wellesley Wonderful Weekend, and draw customers into the square to shop
  • A Way Finding & Branding Project has been initiated thanks to a $10,000 Massachusetts Downtown Initiative Grant, given to Wellesley Square to brand and plan signage for the square; Faberman designs will provide consulting services, to come up with design, logo, font, color and placement for Wellesley Square; signage for pedestrian, place-making, parking, directory to unite Wellesley Square; the effort is still in the beginning stages of planning
  • Support for the community will continue and expand (per above)
  • July Jubilation is Saturday July 16th; Washington Street will be closed 9:30a-4:30p; music will run 10a-4p; and other features from last year returns, such as the dunk tank, petting zoo, stilt walker, interactive entertainment, free parking, ice cream social, Linx dance performance; and performances by an ensemble from the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra is a new feature
  • Right now we have 60 members, but we want more! Please talk to your neighbors. Word of mouth is the best! The more members we get the stronger will be the Association and our marketing reach!


Membership Benefits Package

  • Participation in all events
  • Discounts on media advertising (ex. Hometown Weekly)
  • Joint Promotion Incubator; strategic support
  • Professional Development (Includes Branding & Marketing Workshop on 5/25!)
  • Event Marketing
  • Lower costs compared to the old pay-by-event model; YOU SAVE: $1500
  • Renew your Annual Membership now


Q&A Discussion

  • Suggestion by Cleverhand, change extended hours from Thursdays to Fridays because most people will go out to dinner on a Friday or Saturday night
  • Suggestion: get food trucks for July Jubilation
  • Concern by Page Waterman: less foot traffic on Church Street in the past few years for July Jubilation; how do we get more people up to Church Street?
  • Suggestion to Concern: get a table on Central Street and direct traffic up
  • Suggestion to Concern: put food trucks on crossover street, which will lead traffic up to church street
  • Suggestion to Concern: close off Church Street (this may be difficult because of redirecting traffic)
  • Suggestion to Concern: additional signage will be helpful
  • Suggestion to Concern: locate the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra ensemble on Church Street
  • Suggestion: to gain FB likes, offer the public an incentive for liking WSMA page (i.e. show us you liked this page and get 10% off)
  • Add on Suggestion: offer reward only when you are trying to get to a landmark number
  • Add on Suggestion: put up content that is not solely promotional (i.e. stories about customers who are enthusiastic fans of Wellesley Square)
  • Add on Question: how to implement this as individual stores, as a group?
  • Suggestion to Question: not everyone has to participate, however those who want to can ask people at check out or put up signage
  • Concern: WSMA is event driven; would like to see a campaign with the message “Shop Small/Shop Local” with the objective of strengthening customer retention; loyalty to Wellesley Square
  • Suggestion to Concern: create a shopping local logo or sticker or car magnet
  • Suggestion to Concern: start using #WhyILoveWellesley and/or #iLoveWellesleySquare
  • Suggestion to Concern: use Shop Wellesley logo in all merchant emails; create a template for all to use
  • Suggestion: make a brochure for local WSMA Merchants, for each store to display
  • Suggestion: merchants’ employees need to park in MBTA parking lot, which is FREE on weekends; parking spaces for customers are being used too much by employees

New Plastic Bag Bylaw

Raina McManus spoke on behalf of the Wellesely Natural Resources Commission about the new bylaw regarding the use of plastic bags.

Key Points:

  • Small stores are given 10 months to follow bylaw; 6 months for large stores
  • No plastic bags more than 4mm thick; plastic produce bags are OK
  • Any paper bags must be labeled with recycling information

Documents to View and Download

What Merchants Need To Know About The Bag Bylaw

Article 33 RE: Plastic Bags


Raina C. McManus