Woodlands Mall Makes Thursdays Merrier

1218merrierHere at Shopping Center Weekly, we’re already pretty fond of Thursdays. Shoppers at The Woodlands Mall, Mayfair Mall and Alderwood Mall have also been enjoying that particular day of the week this month with Merrier Thursdays.

It’s an idea that percolated up from within General Growth Properties, and has now made its way to the malls thanks to the energy and iniative of employees at all levels of the company. The goal is to make Thursday nights in December an all-fun, no-stress experience that’s bright, festive and engaging.

It’s an uphill battle—Christmas shopping can be stressful at the best of times, after all—but the centers are doing their level best. A Happiness patrol roams the mall over the course of the evening, treating guests to small gifts and bits of merriment. If your holiday enthusiasm is waning, it sure would be nice to be surprised with a bottle of water, a refreshing mint, or a gift card.

Retailers are also on board, rolling out fun giveaways, discounts and party atmospheres for Thursday evenings. Music performances also keep the fun going, from publicized marquee acts to smaller, intimate performances in quiet corners.

And for those shoppers stressed out about finding the perfect, personalized gift for a special person, the centers are bringing in a little help in the form of a trio of poets. Shoppers can give those poets a few of that special someone’s good points, and in return they receive a custom verse, printed on parchment and placed in a decorative envelope.

“The feedback from our three Merrier Thursdays centers is already very positive. Signs are in place inviting the public to come and join the fun. The newspapers and blogs are filled with stories and postings about the event. And, the retailers and restaurants are whole heartedly embracing Merrier Thursdays, designing ways to participate and further enhance the event,” says Johnna Van Deurzen, GGP Director, Events Management. “Merrier Thursdays is designed to build retailer and restaurant sales. We are really looking forward to our shopper’s reactions to the unexpected fun.”

Written by Nissa on December 17, 2014 – 5:07 pm -
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White Lion Walk Follows Floods With Kindness

220randomAfter a bad bout of flooding in Guildford last month, shoppers at White Lion Walk were all together a little down. Staff at the center had a great idea to make life a little better for their neighbors: random acts of kindness.

The center’s management team set aside Friday, January 31st to cheer up as many shoppers as they could with a pleasant surprise. They visited shops, sneaking up on oblivious shoppers to pay for their purchases. Just under £1000 was given out over the course of the day, and the center reports reactions from declarations of love to outright refusals.

“We had really good fun giving out the money; I loved to see the astonished reactions of our shoppers. I couldn’t believe that some people actually blindly refused to take the cash as they thought we were joking or selling them something,” said center manager Steve Cotney. “Everyone loves surprises and being spoilt and, following the appalling weather conditions and flooding in town, we simply held our random acts of kindness event to cheer up our customers and say thank you to our loyal shoppers”

Pictured: Shopper Sylvia Chambers has her clothes purchase paid for by Centre Manager Steve Cotney, accompanied by Centre Mascot Lionel.

Written by Nissa on February 19, 2014 – 5:43 pm -
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Bayfair Shopping Centre Seeks a Customer Service Champion

Many internal shopping center award schemes recognize retailers. But when it comes to the day-to-day operations in each store, it’s the front line retailer workers that are really the face of your center. Bayfair Shopping Centre is setting out to make those workers feel appreciated with its Customer Service Champion awards.

Throughout September, the center is taking in shoppers’ tales of outstanding customer service. Shoppers can either pop by the center’s information desk for a ballot or they can tell their story in an online contact form. When all the entries are collected, one lucky shopper will get a little good karma back in the form of a $1000 center gift card.

With that sorted out, a panel of five Bayfair retail managers will gather to read through the entries and select ten finalists. To ensure a well-judged result, the center has contracted an independent professional mystery shopper to run the finalists through their paces. Each will be given a certificate of achievement, and the overall winner will be crowned Customer Service Champion 2011, walking away with a trophy and a $1,000 Bayfair gift card.

Written by Nissa on September 14, 2011 – 6:22 pm -
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The Mall Builds Relationships with Budding Businesses

UK shopping center brand The Mall is jumpstarting retail innovation this month with its Retail Factor competition.

It’s the fourth annual competition, and it looks to be bigger and better than ever. The company takes entries from small retail businesses that want to be face to face with shoppers. This year, there will be a shortlist of several businesses chosen for each of eleven shopping centers, and those businesses will be invited to run an RMU in their center for a two week period.

Each center will evaluate the businesses after that two week period to see which stand out from the crowd, build strong customer relationships and develop demand. The winner from each center will get a much bigger reward: two more rent-free months of trading, a free laptop to help run the business, and business mentoring to keep their momentum strong.

Winning the competition isn’t the end of the opportunities, either. Of the eleven winners, the very best will be chosen to receive a free place on the exclusive retail business course, BHF-BSSA Oxford Summer School.

Written by Nissa on January 19, 2011 – 4:43 pm -
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“My Shop Rights” Keeps Australian Shoppers Informed

On January 1st, the Australian Consumer Law commenced. The ACL replaces regional and local consumer laws, which has created a confusing time for both shoppers and retailers. Consumer Affairs Victoria has made things a little easier for everyone with My Shop Rights, a new iPhone application.

The app lays out consumer rights in a simple, easy to navigate interface. A shopper with a problem can open the app, find their topic of interest (“gifts and gift vouchers,””problems with a product” and several more), and instantly locate a plain language explanation of their rights and of retailer responsibilities. They can also keep track of gift voucher expiry dates, warranties and receipts within the app.

Though the ACL may take some getting used to, an informed shopper will always feel more secure making purchases. So it’s great to see that Consumer Affairs Victoria is doing its part to market the law to the people who it will help.

Written by Nissa on January 19, 2011 – 12:50 pm -
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