Suzy Shier Dabbles in Augmented Reality


227layarCanadian women’s clothing retailer Suzy Shier is experimenting with online and mobile marketing with in-store app integration.

It’s working with Layar, an app that’s generally used for augmented-reality layers for magazines and print publications. When visiting Suzy Shier locations, shoppers are presented with ads that send them to the Layar app. When they point their cameras at the ad while using the app, it comes to life.

If shoppers want to see how some of the season’s hottest new looks are worn by the pros, they can simply pull out Layar, point and tap, and watch models showing them off. It’s a fairly early implementation of the augmented reality, which could ultimately bring the models and not just the ads to life in the store, but it’s leading to interesting places. We’re not too far from the day your catwalk fashion show can be superimposed on reality by any shopper that stops by center court after it ends.


Written by Nissa on February 26, 2014 – 5:22 pm -
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Hillcrest Mall Celebrates Statutory Holiday Exemption


hillcrestHoliday trading laws can be a major challenge for shopping centers eager to open and serve their customers on statutory holidays. Happily, Ontario’s Hillcrest Mall can now celebrate with open doors on Family Day and statutory holidays going forward.

The center has been deemed a tourist destination, earning it an exemption to the Retail Holiday Business Act in the Regional Municipality of York. The Act declares that retailers must remain close for statutory holidays unless they’re granted an exemption.

Hillcrest Mall successfully argued that it had established itself as a gathering place that binds local communities together, and that shopping is an integral part of the visitor experience in the Richmond Hill area.

Center marketing director Toni Holley was pleased to share the news. “We are delighted to join other shopping centres in this exemption and, in turn, assist with bolstering tourism and economic activity to the area,” said Holley. “Richmond Hill is a multicultural community with diverse needs and catering to all shoppers is important to us.”

Thanks to this decision, the center can now remain open not only on the upcoming Family Day holiday, but also Good Friday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving Day and New Year’s Day.


Written by Nissa on February 5, 2014 – 5:22 pm -
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Metropolis Takes Gift Cards for a Ride


2013 Black Friday_0897aGift cards are already pretty convenient—they’re quick to buy, and they’re always just what the recipient wants. But they could be better. They could be wherever you happen to be.

That must be how some shoppers felt over the holiday season, when Metropolis at Metrotown’s gift card truck showed up at high-traffic locations through the Lower Mainland. It launched with the center’s inaugural Black Friday event in November, and traveled the city throughout the holidays.

Not only could shoppers pick up an extra-convenient gift card, they could also “give a gift with a smile.” The truck also served as a mobile photo booth, taking Polaroid photos of shoppers that they could use to customize their cards. The photo booth also stocked up on gift-with-purchase offers.

During the week leading up to Christmas, the truck stayed closer to home. The center had its Moonlight Madness extended hours, and the gift card truck was stationed in the center’s parking lot. Shoppers could drive through and purchase gift cards without even leaving their cars.


Written by Nissa on January 29, 2014 – 4:38 pm -
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Yorkdale Shopping Centre Hits Street View


109streetviewThe days of getting lost in the mall might be coming to an end, as Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre has just announced a major milestone: it’s the first North American shopping center to have interior images featured on Google Maps.

The Indoor Maps project has grown to include thousands of shopping centers, airports and other destinations. Zooming down to floor level and pinpointing one’s location via GPS is great, but with the addition of Street View photos, shoppers can orient themselves with all the visual landmarks they could possibly need. And all of us can play virtual tourist and window shop from afar.

The center worked with Wisdek Corp to complete the 360-degree imagery needed.

“Wisdek’s imagery of Yorkdale Shopping Centre is another creative implementation of Google’s Street View technology and we’re thrilled to be the first shopping centre in North America to have interior images on Google maps,” said Anthony Casalanguida, General Manager of Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

Want to check it out for yourself? Visit Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Google Maps and pull the Street View icon down over locations in the center. It looks as though only certain areas have been mapped so far, but it’s a great start.


Written by Nissa on January 8, 2014 – 5:48 pm -
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Mic Mac Mall Unwraps Forever 21 for the Holidays


1218micmac21Mic Mac Mall shoppers got a great early Christmas present this year: the opening of the area’s first Forever 21. While many of us were counting down the remaining sleeps ’til Christmas, the center was counting down 21 Fabulous & Festive Days in December leading up to the Forever 21 launch.

It began with confirmation of the opening date and time, when the center asked its Facebook fans and Twitter followers to chime in and celebrate. The event, they explained, would be announced when they received 210 responses—and each of those respondents were entered to with a $210 Forever 21 gift card.

That hype was carried on into the mall, where staff set up a pop-up present with information about the opening and the 21 Fabulous & Festive Days campaign. There at the present they held daily challenges for prizes—21 in total. Shoppers were asked to sing, dance, answer trivia questions or put together crafts, anything to build holiday cheer.

The hoarding outside the future Forever 21 also came into play, with an Instagram contest. Shoppers were asked to snap a photo of their favorite Forever 21 item pictured on the wall and tag it with #MicMacForever21. Those that did were entered to win a $50 gift card to the fast fashion retailer.

Finally the time came, and Forever 21 opened its doors to a massive an eager crowd. The retailer gave away $21 gift cards to the first 100 shoppers in line, played some great tunes and plied shoppers with deep discounts and more prizes inside.


Written by Nissa on December 18, 2013 – 5:38 pm -
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