BCSC 2014 Announces Innovation Hub

821bcscBCSC 2014 is just around the corner—September 10-11, to be exact—and it’s sure to bring some great surprises.

For example, the organization recently announced its brand new Innovation Hub, brought to the conference in partnership with pop-up pros Appear Here.

According to BCSC, it’s going to be a new and dynamic pop-up space that will play host to informal drop-in panel sessions that will challenge the norm. With panels featuring speakers like the founders of BOXPARK, Street Feast and YR Store, it’s sure to get into some of the newest innovations in pop-ups, personalization and more.

Just take a look a couple of the panel topics:

  • Are Consumers the New Retailers?: We’re seeing retailers give their customers the ability to interact, curate and even complete transactions on their own terms. Which brands are embracing this trend? What are the implications on traditional retail of giving consumers more control?
  • Shaking the Foundations: Why our cities need more Landlords breaking the mould: Landlords today have the opportunity to have a bigger impact in our cities and create the foundations for great animation that transforms our ‘everyday lives.’ How can landlords better harness their power to change our urban fabric?

Interested? Registration is still open at the conference website.

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Prague Outlet Moves Toward Opening

821pragueAfter Galleria Moda was completed but left unopened in 2008, hopes for a shopping center in the area seemed slim. But new investor DREITONEL had a vision for the property. The new owners acquired the site in 2013 and have spent this year preparing a new offer: The Prague Outlet, which they hope will soon become the Czech Republic’s number one shopping destination.

The location is a great one: strategically located next to Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport and in close proximity of the city centre, it will have unrivalled access to the Prague’s tourist market. It will serve those tourists, too, with live departure boards, up-to-date flight information and check-in kiosks.

The new owners, now renamed The Prague Outlet, have announced plans to open the center in three phases beginning in 2015. When all three phases are complete, the center should boast about 170 retailers.

Martin Kubišta, head of The Prague Outlet, said, “After acquiring ownership of this extensive property with a noticeable space for development near Prague’s only international airport, we have worked hard to define our new product: a premium outlet centre with the right size and character. It had to be a modern space with an attractive mix of brands and upscale visitors services.” He added, “Our vision for The Prague Outlet is to develop a premium offer with light and airy interiors encompassing a host of designer and high street brands.”

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Central Mall Makes Back to School Extra Special with My Day, My Way

821btssOne lucky Central Mall shopper is going to do Back-to-School in serious style. As part of the center’s My Day, My Way sweepstakes, she’ll head to the center’s Back to School Saturday event this weekend in a limo, get a beauty makeover from MAC, enjoy some lunch and a sweet treat afterwards, and get a $50 gift card from a center retailer to spend on the big day. Oh, and she’ll get to pick seven friends to join her for the same treatment.

The My Day, My Way social media promotion was developed by JLL to go along with its Teen Vogue Back to School Saturdays (BTSS) partnership. Each participating mall offered a custom package to make BTSS extra special for a lucky shopper.

And that’s on top of the fun BTSS offers. Fashion shows, Style Search scavenger hunts, makeup bag goodie bags, promotions, entertainment, music, and food: all the pieces of a great afternoon of back-to-school shopping.

“Creating compelling back-to-school programming is so important for our shopping centers and the Teen Vogue Back-To-School Saturdays events will give our consumers an experience that can’t be matched online,” said Julie Rickey, Director of Property Marketing for JLL Retail. “We expect this programming to increase traffic and sales in our properties during this key sales period before we head into the holiday shopping season.”

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intu Metrocentre Reveals Poppy Chandelier for WWI Centenary

821poppiesEarlier this year, intu Metrocentre put up a massive crystal heart chandelier and sold commemorative crystals to raise money for charity. It’s not the sort of campaign you’d expect a center to be able to repeat, but as it turns out, it’s at it again already.

This time, the center has commissioned a unique seven metre-high chandelier of poppies to create a lasting tribute to both the brave servicemen and women who lost their lives in a century of conflicts and to those currently serving. 60 massive poppies went into the making of the chandelier, which was installed and unveiled in the center’s Red Mall as part of a program of events marking the centenary of World War I.

On August 4th, the Rt Rev Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, was at intu Metrocentre exactly 100 years to the day since the outbreak of WWI, taking part in an official public “Drumhead” commemorative service with the centre’s chaplain, Lyn Jamieson, before visiting the site of the new chandelier.

“The new chandelier will not only be an amazing attraction for visitors to the Red Mall,” said Gavin Prior, General Manager for intu Metrocentre. “But it is also our way of ensuring there is a lasting tribute to everyone who lost their lives in the service of their country. We are sure everyone who sees it will stop and think about what it stands for.”

The center also hosted a number of displays and activities that recalled the war, including an WW1 artefacts, such as bagpipes and a bugle played on the battlefield during the Battle of the Somme. There was also a display of more than 1000 poppies handcrafted by school children, and poppy crosses for sale to lay at the center’s Garden of Remembrance before being transferred to the city’s official Garden of Remembrance.

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Cavendish Square Gets Cute With Sustainability

821mbycCavendish Square cares about sustainability—the center has even been recognized for that with the 2013 City of Cape Town, SAPOA & Eskom Energy Efficiency Forum Award in the single building category. So #cavendishcares seems like an apt hashtag for the center’s current sustainability campaign, in partnership with World Design Capital 2014.

WDC2014′s theme is ‘Today For Tomorrow-sustainable solutions for people and the planet.’ As part of that, the center is featuring some great WDC2014 installations—and doing its own part to be a little better for the planet.

The center has found a ridiculously cute way to participate, in fact. Starting last week, the center’s food court and a few other locations were invaded by the Made by You & Cavendish monsters, wide-mouthed, colorful recycle bins with personality. Shoppers who properly sort and dispose of their paper, plastic, tin and glass waste aren’t just keeping it from the landfill: the waste collected in those monstrous bins is being turned into functional and desirable recycled products that will be stocked in the Made by You & Cavendish pop-up shop in October.

Other WDC2014 installations have been popping up too, like 100 Bicycles. 100 Bicycles encourages shoppers to buy bicycles for their own health and for the planet, but also because charity organization Qhubeka will support someone in need by supplying them with a bicycle as well.

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