Derby Center Appoints its Head of Fun

Being in the retail industry during the holidays is like watching sausage get made: you can never quite get the magic back. It can be difficult to see the fun of it all when you’re hip deep in logistics.

Westfield Derby is bringing in a little outside help to keep fun a priorty: it’s picked a candidate for a brand new position. Molly Taylor has been chosen as the center’s Head of Fun, and she’ll bring all the experience her 8 years have brought her to bear on the center’s children’s activities over the next year.

Young Molly was chosen from over 30 applicants for the ‘most fun job in town.’ The center was so impressed with the quality of applications that it also put together a Panel of Fun, Joseph Preedy (7), Penelope Harrison (9), Lucy Farrow (9) and Kieran Wakefield (10), to help Molly with her big decisions.

The job may be honorary, but the duties are serious. Molly will consult on all the big family holidays, like Christmas and Easter. She’ll also perform as a ceremonial functionary, welcoming celebrities and cartoon characters. Her most challenging project will likely be overseeing the refurbishment of the center’s parent and child facilities.

To reward her for all her hard work (as child labor is as yet illegal), Molly will be paid in gift vouchers and toys.

“So many of the children came to the interviews with fantastic ideas and we had a very difficult decision to make,” said center manager Janine Bone. “Molly, Joseph, Penelope, Lucy and Kieran all stood out for their own individual personalities and creativity; most importantly, they made us smile!”

Molly is looking forward to getting started. “I saw the job advertised in the paper and applied as I thought I might be good at it,” she said. “I have lots of fun ideas for children’s activities during the school holidays and weekends. I was so excited when I was told I had got the job!”

Written by Nissa on November 21, 2012 – 3:08 pm -
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Stanford Center Meets The Caring Bunny

Sensitive Santa is a great start, but children with special needs should get to spend time with their heroes more than once a year. That’s why Caring Bunny is hopping into Stanford Shopping Center this Saturday.

Caring Bunny is a joint program developed by The Noerr Programs and Now in its second year, the event provides children that might not be able to comfortably cope with the lines, bright flashes, crowds and noise that comes along with a mall event a chance to enjoy a heartwarming Easter experience. To avoid those problems, guests of the Caring Bunny arrive before the mall opens. They’ll have a chance to listen to social stories that explain and anticipate the actions involved during their visit. Any remaining wait will be filled with coloring and other activities, and then they’ll be called in one and a time.

“We had an overwhelming response to the launch of Caring Bunny and Caring Santa last year. As a result, we are thrilled to expand this program to 52 malls,” said Sheryl Young, CEO of “Holding the event before the mall opens to the public helps provide a calmer, sensory-friendly environment,” she added.

Disclosure: While The Noerr Programs advertises with Shopping Center Weekly, we don’t give preference to advertiser initiatives in our editorial content.

Written by Nissa on March 28, 2012 – 6:24 pm -
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Tanger Outlets Launches New Grants For Kids

Tanger Outlets has always had a mind to help children, believing that children are our biggest and most important asset. They’ve raised money to purchase books and supplies, computers and new technology, to fund reading programs and educational field trips, to purchase athletic and playground equipment and for many other important educational projects. Now they’re looking to formalize that fundraising with TangerKIDS Grants.

The program is designed to help schools in the company’s primary markets by providing grants for special projects, needed programs or equipment. Each center will support at least one school from pools of grant money up to $7500. Tanger has earmarked one dollar of every coupon book sold to kids and schools, and this year’s TangerKIDS grant program is a targeted way to get the funds to deserving schools and children.

“The entire Tanger organization strongly believes that supporting children’s education is an investment in their future and we, as a company, want to contribute,” said Steven B. Tanger, President and Chief Executive Officer of the company. “We take great pride in being engaged members of the communities we serve. Tanger Outlet Centers, Inc. has developed this new program to assist our local schools with funding for needed programs and equipment. TangerKIDS exemplifies our long term commitment to protect the futures of children.”

Written by Nissa on March 14, 2012 – 6:10 pm -
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Riverside Kids Play for Arsenal This Summer

How many youngsters dream of one day belonging to the Arsenal Football Club? Probably quite a few, and this summer they’ll have the chance to get a little taste of that life at Riverside Shopping Centre.

Arsenal’s youth membership scheme, the Junior Gunners, and Arsenal Soccer Schools are heading on a road trip to a number of centers this summer, including Riverside. When they arrive, they’ll give kids the chance to take in a behind-the-scenes look at the day-to-day life of Arsenal players, both in training and in the stadium.

Participants can enjoy a virtual tour in the Arsenal Training Centre. They’ll be introduced to Arsenal’s coaching staff via a video message, and they’ll get to run up against top Arsenal players on the Batak Wall, an impressive piece of technology that’s used by the team to improve reflexes.

To keep memories of their day on the team, young shoppers can have their photos taken against virtual Arsenal backgrounds. They can also explore the players’ changing rooms at the virtual Emirates Stadium, where they can get prepared and warm up for the big game. They’ll also get to rush through the player’s tunnels and onto the pitch, where they’ll face down a penalty shot and maybe even save the game.

If that dream day as a team member isn’t real enough, they’ll have the chance to go to the real thing, with prizes to win that include two tickets to an Arsenal home match next season.

Written by Nissa on July 20, 2011 – 6:30 pm -
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Meadowhall Makes April Its Own

You don’t always have to wait for a special occasion to celebrate. Meadowhall, for example, is ringing in spring with a huge collection of fashion, food and beauty events under the banner of Meadowhall Live.

The launch of FR by Fashion Rocks is a cornerstone of the event, and to celebrate it, the store is holding a model search for the Face of Fashion Rocks with live music and goody bags. Surrounding that launch is a series of great opportunities for fashionistas: beauty tips, 3D body-style scanning, fashion shows and style swaps.

Foodies will also have a great start to spring at Meadowhall Live: Celebrity chef Gino D’Acampo will offer a cooking demonstration and book signing, The Milestone chefs will hold a cook-off, and Stacie Stewart will hold a cookie-decorating workshop.

Beauty buffs will have the chance to sit down for a makeover with professional make-up artists and get tips for their own at home style. Hair makeovers, lash extension demonstrations, and more will be on offer.

Finally, the center is planning for the kiddies as well. Meeting Peppa Pig, cupcake decoration, kid-safe cooking classes, easter crafts, and In the Night Garden all feature. Kids’ retailer River Island is also holding a day-long Kids’s Party at the center food court, with a fashion and jewellery workshop for the girls and football fun for the boys (hopefully with some cross over). Kids can also learn dance moves from street dance performers, and win prizes from golden eggs that can be turned in to the retailer.

With all that planned, April will certainly be the month of Meadowhall.

Written by Nissa on March 16, 2011 – 5:41 pm -
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