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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Park Royal is in for Starry Nights

Park Royal’s big holiday shopping event and fundraiser is so big it can’t be contained in just one night. No, for its 3rd iteration, Starry Nights will take up two nights in November to bring shoppers the best deals of the season and local charities a great influx of funds.

Both nights promise to be excellent, and unique. Between the two, there will be a great heap of live entertainment: DJ Leanne’s award-winning team of GirlOnWax DJs, singer Hermann Fruhm, solo-saxophone player Buddha Saxx, brass-band Santa’s Brass, the jazz stylings of Gerald Boey, and Christmas folk music by Noelle.

Food and drink will be provided for shoppers looking for a nibble. Two wine lounges will be sponsored by Liberty Wine Merchants and food tasting tables will feature foods by White Spot, Cupcakes, The Keg and more.

And as if getting your holiday shopping done on a cheerful festive evening isn’t relaxing enough, one lucky attendee will with the evenings’ grand prize of two round-trip tickets to anywhere in Canada on WestJet. Whether it’s a holiday at home across the country or a vacation as far from home as possible, both sound like the makings of a merry Christmas.

That’s all on top of the usual outstanding offers, prizes and surprises that always greet shoppers on these magical nights.

Written by Nissa on October 31, 2012 – 3:52 pm -
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The Big Switch-Off at Westfield London

Westfield London went a little over the top with its Christmas light switch-on, bringing teen sensation Justin Bieber out to do the honors. Now it’s taken the unusual step of bringing the public out for a switch-off ceremony, too.

But before you start thinking the center is getting too self-aggrandizing, this ceremony was for a great cause: Earth Hour. Scottish singer KT Tunstall came out to Westfield London to perform and hit the big switch to shut down the Christmas lights for another season. While she was at it, she reminded everyone that there’s another big light switch-off coming at the end of March. Not only is it a clever promotion, it’s a nice way to cap off the holiday season.

“I’m delighted to have switched off the festive lights at Westfield London to launch WWF’s Earth Hour. It’s such a simple, powerful campaign and it’s a great feeling to be joining many millions of others around the world who care and are taking action,” said Tunstall. “”I’ve always cared deeply about the environment and try my best to limit the impact my life and work has on the planet. It’s not easy but there are simple steps and commitments you can make – and WWF’s Earth Hour is a great chance to tell others what you are doing and get them to join you.”

Let’s hope her influence helps make this year’s Earth Hour bigger and better than ever.

Written by Nissa on January 11, 2012 – 1:43 pm -
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Erina Fair Celebrates the Spirit of Giving

While the holiday season can be enough to drive one to cynicism at times, at its heart it’s all about giving. There is no better time of year to practice the Golden Rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s that spirit of the season that Erina Fair is trying to foster with its Giving Project.

It’s a project the center is cultivating mostly through its Facebook page. Erina Fair is working to raise $100,000 for six charities over the holidays. It needs help meeting that goal, but it’s also looking to recognize any good work its shoppers undertake. Alongside its monetary goal, Erina Fair hopes its shoppers will help tally up 5000 good deeds.

People who Like Erina Fair on Facebook can submit good deeds, either for themselves or someone they know. Each of those deeds is tallied on the site, and Erina Fair highlights many of them on its page. If shoppers are stumped on the good deeds that need doing, the center has a list of suggestions — both the things their sponsored charities could really use, and the way those charities could use a few volunteer hours.

The center is also holding a raffle for The Giving Project, with some fantastic donated prizes. These include a South Pacific cruise for a whole family, huge packs of toys and other gifts, a full home theater and lots more.

It’s enough to inspire one to give their all, if the joy of helping others isn’t enough.

Written by Nissa on December 14, 2011 – 2:30 pm -
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Southcenter Gives Shoppers A Happy LOLiday

This Christmas, Southcenter and 15 other Westfield centers are urging shoppers to go over the top. After all, who brings more joy in the holidays than the person who really gets into it, with light shows and piles of gifts and trees from here to forever?

And what better way to get way too into the holiday spirit than with a cheesy holiday card — the kind where you get the whole family dressed up in funny costumes and pose in some outrageous way. But that’s an awful lot of effort, isn’t it?

Enter Westfield’s LOLiday cards. Skip the costumes and the posing, and still come out with an end result that deserves a spot on Awkward Family Photos? Sounds like a good deal to me. The center has used a bit of augmented reality to make this happen. Shoppers download an app, then pose on a specialty backdrop. The app recognizes the backdrop and lets them customize their card with all kinds of interactive features.

If shoppers can’t make it into one of the 16 participating centers, they can also play online. To put together a LOLiday card online shoppers just need a head-on photo of each of the people they want to include in their card. A little cut, paste, rotate and zoom later, and out comes a customized Christmas card they can share with their friends on Facebook, Twitter and email.

The card includes a tasteful bit of Westfield branding, and after sending one users are encouraged to like their local center on Facebook. Really, though, it’s all about the LOLs, right?

Written by Nissa on December 14, 2011 – 1:53 pm -
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