The Bridges Brings Back Late Night Shopping

107bridgesWhile many centers have packed their late night shopping hours away after the holidays, The Bridges Shopping Centre is doing something a little different: it’s kicking them off.

After a strong holiday season, the center and Sunderland’s Business Improvement District decided that it was time to give shoppers something more to do in the evening. Starting today, the center is keeping its doors open till 8 p.m. on Thursdays—and offering free parking during that period to boot.

With winter in full swing, the center is making sure to keep things bright and cheery during the evening hours. The BID is planning a program of free entertainment for the center’s late nights, kicking off with Discovery Zoo this week. Shoppers young and old can mingle with a whole host fo creatures, from guinea pigs to snakes and tarantulas. Anyone daring enough to take a selfie with them and tag it online will have a chance to win Bridges gift cards that are being given out every half hour.

“The Bridges is a fantastic centre with lots of superb retailers,” said Andy Bradley, Centre Director.

“This is a great opportunity for more local people to shop at their leisure, particularly anyone who works in or around the city centre. It also means that shoppers from other areas can make an evening of it and see what the Bridges and Sunderland in general has to offer.”

Upcoming weeks will include magicians, walks down Sunderland’s memory lane, and a Dirty Dancing flash mob. Just the thing to shake off those winter blues.

Written by Nissa on January 7, 2015 – 5:36 pm -
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Malls Help Out Post-Sandy

It’s only been a few days since Hurricane Sandy hit, and shopping centers up and down the eastern United States are still reeling. Many are still closed, either damaged or without power, and it’s expected to take some time for business to get back to normal in storm-ravaged cities.

At the same time, with shopping centers so often serving as the hearts of their communities, those that can are stepping up to do what they can. For some, that is simply a matter of offering well-wishes and emotional support to other community members who are suffering. Others pass the proverbial hat for Red Cross, on their websites, social networks and in center.

With the hurricane arriving so near to when trick-or-treating should have happened, most communities that were hit have requested that families stay in and skip the door-to-door. The streets are still too dangerous, and curfews are in place to keep people safe.

According to the New City Patch, one center did what it could to help alleviate the disappointment local kids must have felt at being told they couldn’t trick-or-treat. Ten retailers at the Town Plaza shopping center handed out candy to youngsters, and the center also held games for kids.

While this may have been in the cards even before Sandy, there is one definite difference: the center invited locals to bring their cars and their candy down to the center to hold a Trunk-or-Treat. For folks who were down at the thought that they wouldn’t see darling little trick-or-treaters at their doors, this was surely a good cheer in a time when one was badly needed.

Are you planning any post-Sandy fundraisers or events at your center? Let us know in the comments.

Image via NASA

Written by Nissa on October 31, 2012 – 4:28 pm -
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Destin Commons Parties with Local Businesses

It might not be an exaggeration to say that a shopping center lives or dies on the strength of its relationships—with shoppers, with retailers, and with the local community. Sponsorship opportunities, promotional partnerships, these things come of strong relationships. Relationships of the sort that are built in Chamber of Commerce gatherings, perhaps. Like the one that Destin Commons just hosted.

The Destin Area Chamber of Commerce holds regular Business After Hours events that brings together members and non-members to network, socialize, and enjoy a few beverages and hors d’oeuvres. It’s a common chamber event, one that may well be popular in your area.

Destin Commons had a particularly good opportunity to build relationships with its Business After Hours event, as it brought together members of not just one but several local chambers of commerce. Crestview Area, Greater Fort Walton Beach, Niceville Valparaiso, and Walton Area joined the Destin Area chamber for a single night of networking and entertainment.

Aside from the usual cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and door prizes, Destin Commons offered live music, an art pavilion showcase, and giveaways. Sounds like a great evening, one sure to build them a little good will.

Written by Nissa on October 3, 2012 – 4:07 pm -
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SouthPark Mall Celebrates Teens’ Drive

For a long time now, we’ve tried to encourage teenagers to drive safely by instilling them with fear. Simulated car crashes, gory videos, graphic ads—all tools to teach new drivers the risks of misbehaving.

State Farm spent this weekend trying something different: building a support network for young drivers, teaching them with compassion and encouragement rather than fear. The effort is called Celebrate My Drive, and it rallies around teens who are getting their licenses.

SouthPark Mall hosted a Celebrate My Drive event over the weekend. It was a party, not a lecture—raffles, prizes, fun and games. In amongst the fun were the simulations, including the classic “drunk goggles” that let folks see just how hard it is to process the world while intoxicated.

Kids had an extra reason to participate: the chance to win a brand new Chevy Sonic. To enter, they could visit the program’s Facebook page and vote for a local school to be awarded a $100,000 grant.

Written by Nissa on September 19, 2012 – 4:34 pm -
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Centers Celebrate Ramadan by Making a Difference

Once again, Muscat City Centre and Qurum City Centre are reaching out the under-privileged in their quest to Make a Difference this Ramadan.

The donations campaign is part of Majid Al Futtaim Properties’ annual, region-wide Ramadan campaign. Between the company’s 11 properties in the area, 149,000 items were collected last year. This year, the centers are pushing to do even better.

“Holding the Make a Difference this Ramadan campaign again this year holds at its core the importance of respecting those who are less privileged and to make efforts to give what we can, with the aim of bettering their quality of life. We hope to promote the spirit of charity and generosity during Ramadan and to improve on last year’s collection total,” said Muscat City Centre senior manager Husam bin Mohammed Al Mandhari.

The centers are collecting all manner of contributions, from non-perishable foods to eyeglasses, cellphones, books and a lot more. To say thanks, the centers are giving everyone who donates vouchers for discounts at their retailers.

It’s all part of a quest to bring together the community. The centers are also providing social meeting points for the community this Ramadan, with both malls hosting daily activities including children’s Quran learning sessions, henna painting and complimentary dates and Arabic coffee for families to break the fast with.

Written by Nissa on July 25, 2012 – 5:18 pm -
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