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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Richmond Centre Teaches Christmas To All

Most of us probably feel like Christmas is universal at times — it’s so all encompassing at shopping centers and in the media that it’s easy to forget that plenty of people don’t celebrate.

But what about those who want to, but haven’t had the chance? Richmond Centre, for instance, serves a population that includes many recent immigrants to Canada. Christmas may well seem impenetrable to those who haven’t grown up with it — a man dressed in red breaks into your house to leave presents, and fills up the socks you nail to the fireplace? Everyone gives each other fruitcake and yet no one seems to like it? It’s all a bit mysterious when you look at it with fresh eyes.

So the center set itself to making sure this Christmas would include everyone who wanted to join in the holiday fun. On its holiday microsite, it offers an “Encyclopedia of Christmas” filled with charming (but accurate) explanations of most Christmas traditions. For example, from the entry on Goodwill:

“Goodwill, in this Christmas context, simply means friendliness. If you ever gave up the swing for someone in the playground, you exhibited goodwill. If you ever shoveled snow from your neighbour’s sidewalk, you exhibited goodwill. Similarly when adults wave nicely to each other in rush hour traffic, they’re exhibiting goodwill. The topic of goodwill is worth dwelling on during Christmas because it’s what the “Spirit of Christmas” is all about. Like love, tolerance and compassion, goodwill is a gift you can’t wrap, but one of the nicest to receive.”

It’s also a great primer for anyone who’s ever been confused by some of the more regional Christmas traditions like Yule logs or Christmas crackers. And for the little ones, there are child-friendly explanations of Santa and his gift giving traditions.

For shoppers on location, the center is offering regular “School of Christmas” sessions – fun trips into the lore and facts of Christmas as taught by Santa’s crew of elves.

Speaking of the elves, Richmond Centre went all out for its elves this year. Santa has brought nearly 40 of them along, and the center is doing its best to give them all some time in the spotlight. Online, it’s seeking votes for the very best elves, who will be crowned Prince and Princess of the elves this Friday. In the center, shoppers can talk to the elves to collect their trading cards. Richmond Centre is selling a special trading card book for serious collectors, too.

Written by Nissa on December 21, 2011 – 5:28 pm -
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Los Cerritos Center Celebrates Community

The American political climate is currently quite divisive, and at times like this it can be hard to remember that everyone is in this together. So there’s no better time for Los Cerritos Center’s Festival of Friendship.

The center is working with The City of Cerritos and the Let Freedom Ring Committee to bring locals together in a celebration of culture, friendship and community. Next weekend, shoppers will have a unique opportunity to learn about the cultural diversity in Cerritos through a variety of cultural acts performed on stages throughout the center. It’s invited local community groups to perform with the songs and dances of their native cultures.

On three different stages, the center has planned a whole day’s entertainment. Representatives of dozens of cultural groups will perform, from the Noopur Dance Academy to the Da’ Hawaii Seniors Club. What a great reminder that differences make us stronger.

Written by Nissa on January 26, 2011 – 6:34 pm -
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RECon Asia 2010: Beijing Rising

The City of Beijing is looking to become the next major fashion center in Asia, and shopping malls like Raffles City Beijing are playing their part in that quest.
With “The Heart of Fashion” as its positioning statement, Raffles City is promoting itself as a destination for not only the local fashionable set, but also for foreigners working in the city and international travelers. That strategy is certainly evident in the first anniversary edition of the mall’s Raffles City magazine.

Even if you cannot read one Chinese character, the magazine’s cover draws you in with the promise of delivering content that will be relevant to you. It does it subtly, just by providing an English translation of the story headlines. Turn the page and you’ll find more lures: an interview with YEO Kee Whye, the managing director of CapitaMalls Asia, written in both languages. Opposite that is the contents page, also with translated text. But that’s where the in-depth English translation ends, and somehow it doesn’t really matter.

Raffles City Beijing’s marketing team was clever in providing only the English translation of the various magazine section and article headlines to highlight the breadth of the mall’s product mix. The rest of the text is in Chinese characters. Still, the essential information for any style experts with the willingness and ability to spend is there: the product image, the brand and the price. “Guess – ¥580” written below the picture of an animal-print belt, along with a detailed mall directory/map at the back of the magazine: what more do you need to know?

Instead of using valuable resources to publish a fully bilingual magazine for the off chance that an English-speaking shopper might want to sit down and read the articles therein, the mall’s marketers seem to have followed their instincts about how fashionistas really use style magazines. The latter are, for the most part, publications that are image-heavy and made to be flipped through, tagged, talked about with friends and perhaps even taken apart to produce fashion tear sheets in preparation of a future shopping trip. So why not give customers what they want, namely page after page of fashion images, style updates and key information for shopping?

Other malls wanting to attract a culturally diverse local audience, as well as foreigners, might be wise to follow Raffles City Beijing’s lead. Spend your marketing dollars where it counts most. You’ll probably end up with more effective campaigns.

Keep an eye out for the last Tactics edition of the year in which we’ll recap the 2010 RECon Asia Conference, celebrate the winners of the ICSC 2010 Asia Shopping Centre Awards and bring you more ideas to enhance your marketing programs. Also, mark your calendars: the next RECon Asia conference will take place November 2-4, 2011 in Shanghai, China.

Myriam Beaugé, Editor in Chief, Tactics Magazine

Written by Nissa on November 17, 2010 – 3:08 pm -
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