Emporium and Melbourne Central Change the Face of CBD Shopping

417emporiumMelbourne CBD’s retail network just got a lot more exciting, as Emporium opened its seven floors of new retail space. Certainly the center’s 225 stores will be a great addition to the city’s retail mix, but that’s not the only change it brings.

That’s because Emporium doesn’t stand alone—it’s directly linked with Melbourne Central, Myer and David Jones. With its opening, Melbourne Central has also reopened its pedestrian bridges, linking the centers, department stores and Bourke Street Mall.

Melbourne Central General Manager Justin Shannon said the Centre welcomed the CBD’s re-connection:

“The opening of the pedestrian link bridges will boost the overall CBD shopping experience for our customer through a broader retail mix. Our positioning over two city blocks, with 880 car parks and the second busiest train station in Melbourne make Melbourne Central the best place to start and finish any CBD visit.

Greater access and convenience will reinforce the City of Melbourne as a must-visit shopping and lifestyle destination.”

Australian Retailers Association executive director Russell Zimmerman spoke to the Herald Sun about the change.

“We expect to see the Emporium actually change the foot traffic flow from what has traditionally been east-west, to north-south,” Mr Zimmerman says.

“We’ve got a new corridor that’s opening up through the city.”

As the paper points out, the flow of shopping hours is also changing as Emporium and Melbourne Central adjust their opening hours in line with Myer and David Jones. Shoppers will be able to visit the center until 7pm most nights, and until 9pm on Thursday and Friday.

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The Easter Bunny Teaches Healthy Living

417bunnyThe Easter Bunny isn’t really known for his good works of charity, but that could be changing. Earlier this month, he visited Neval Thomas Elementary school to help out kids in Save The Children’s DC Afterschool Program.

He visited the program shortly before kicking off his time hosting The Noerr Programs Bunny Photo Experience. He visited the students that were part of the school’s health- and literacy focused afterschool program and encouraged them to keep their minds and bodies active. He led them in healthy exercise, taught them some tricks for warding off obesity, and delivered festive Bunny Ears from Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

While the Bunny poses with children in the lead-up to Easter, he’ll also be collecting donations in support of Save the Children’s U.S. programs.

“Save the Children’s afterschool programs are all about helping children succeed in school and life. Literacy programs, regular physical activity and nutrition education all help kids excel in class and lead healthier lives,” said Kathy Spangler, Vice President of Save the Children’s U.S. programs. “We’re grateful to The Noerr Programs and the Easter Bunny for helping us give children a brighter future.”

“We feel privileged to share the caring nature and kindness of The Bunny with the wonderful students of Neval Thomas Elementary school,” said Judy Noerr, Chief Executive Officer of The Noerr Programs. “This season, we encourage The Bunny’s guests at regional shopping centers across the country to share his generous spirit by supporting Save the Children, and their critical healthy education programs in Washington, D.C. and across the United States.”

Disclosure: While the Noerr Programs advertises with Shopping Center Weekly, this is not a sponsored post.

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Manchester Arndale Launches Retailer Awards

417marasManchester Arndale wants to make sure it rewards the retailers that offer the very best to its shoppers, so the center has launched the MARAs—the Manchester Arndale Retail Awards.

It’s looking for the best of the best and asking shoppers to help. Throughout April, shoppers are being asked to single out their favorite retailers and retail employees. To do so, they can either visit the center’s website or a member of the center’s Customer Experience team. The team carries tablets that can be used to access the survey.

Shoppers are asked to nominate as many of the center’s retailers as they’d like for an excellence award, to highlight any individuals they think are particularly deserving of recognition, and to leave their info for a chance to win a weekend trip for two to Venice.

The center is also arranging a series of mystery shops for nominated retailers so it can see great customer service in action.

The winners will be recognized at a glittering award ceremony on June 8, held at the National Football Museum. Shops and individuals will be awarded across fourteen categories and three titles, including the “Service with a smile” award, the “Shop I can’t live without” award and more.

Center director David Allinson said, “Manchester Arndale is home to over 200 retailers and a wealth of outstanding customer service people. We wanted to recognise those exceptional store team members that really make a difference to the customer experience and the stores that consistently provide fantastic products, ideas and solutions. Our centre wouldn’t be nearly as successful and popular with Manchester shoppers without these people, so we look forward to highlighting and rewarding their success at the event in June.”

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Westfield Centre Ads Catch Fire for Hunger Games

417catchingfireTo mark the DVD release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Westfield centers in Australia gave shoppers the chance to set their phones alight with a mobile game.

Village Roadshow and oOh! Media worked together to bring an some Hunger Games fun to 142 digital screens at Westfield centers. 77 of those were equipped with Tap or Scan enabled panels, which use NFC and QR connections to let shoppers engage just by tapping or scanning their devices. When they did so, they were given access to a Catching Fire memory game that had them match mockingjay symbols for a chance to win a daily $200 voucher if they managed to be the fastest.

Tapping or scanning also caused all the digital panels running the campaign in that center to appear to catch fire.

When shoppers finished playing the matching game, they were encouraged to share it with their friends on Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus for a chance to win a $1000 Westfield voucher.

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MarketStreet Lynnfield Adopts StyleMoos

417stylemoosWhen Hilltop Steakhouse closed, it left behind beloved icons including a herd of fiberglass cows that served as a popular landmark. Local fans of the cows rallied to find the cows a new home, launching a small Facebook campaign to save them.

Now, a new home has been found: three of the iconic cows have been “adopted” by MarketStreet Lynnfield, an open-air New England shopping destination. They’ve been patched up, repainted and redubbed the MarketStreet Cows. No longer content with simple grazing, they’ve taken over the center’s social channels as the StyleMoos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

In their new homes, they can dress up in fashions from center retailers, celebrate local sports teams and take part in all sorts of community events. The first event they hosted was last Saturday’s Easter Egg Hunt. Dressed up in bunny ears, they were central to the egg hunt, the Lively Kids fashion show and the Easter Bunny festivities.

“We loved what a fun and time-honored New England landmark the cows were at Hilltop and we are always seeking ways to make the MarketStreet Lynnfield experience a unique one for the community; the cows perfectly fulfill this over-arching goal. We’re delighted for our visitors to enjoy them,” stated Laurel Sibert, Vice President of Corporate Marketing with WS Development, which co-developed and manages MarketStreet Lynnfield.

(Photo credit: MarketStreet Lynnfield)

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