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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intu Lakeside Names 2014 The Year of Reading Together

220literacyEarlier this month, intu Lakeside used the occasion of National Storytelling Week to announce a year-long commitment that’s sure to improve the lives of local families: it named 2014 its Year of Reading Together.

With 15 of 21 local state-funded schools falling below the England average for expected progress in reading, the commitment could mean all the difference for youngsters. The center aims to encourage more parents to read with their children throughout the year and beyond. It has a plan to facilitate that, too: every school holiday, the center will run free events with a focus on reading and storytelling. It also plans to organize book donations and free story days.

Izzie Peskett, intu Lakeside’s Marketing Manager, said, “We are partnering with the National Literacy Trust this year to improve literacy levels in our local area and get more parents and children reading together. Literacy is something that affects everyone and we believe every child should be given the best possible introduction to reading as it is such a big part of everyday life at every age.

“With so many of our shoppers being parents, it’s incredibly important to support them as much as we can, whether that’s by running free events that they can enjoy with their children (with a focus on reading together), or donating much needed books that can make a real difference.”

Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council and portfolio holder for education, said,: “This is a fabulous campaign and supports the delivery of our top priority to raise educational attainment and give our children the best possible start in life. Literacy is integral to this and this campaign reaches out to communities and children, bringing parents and children together to read and develop essential skills. Businesses play a pivotal role in the life of the borough and I applaud intu Lakeside for this initiative.”

This week is the start of the program, coinciding with February half-term. The center is having celebrity dad and children’s author David Walliams in to read stories to 50 parents and kids that are part of its free kids club.

The center is also promoting literacy through its website and social media accounts, with links to resources for parents who want to find a way to read with their children more often.

Written by Nissa on February 19, 2014 – 5:26 pm -
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Topshop Fashion Week Goes Virtual

topshopFor a few years, brands have been bringing shoppers to their Fashion Week events through streaming video, social tie-ins and more. But this year, for London Fashion Week, Topshop is bringing four lucky shoppers closer than ever.

It’s doing so with the help of tech firm Inition and the Oculus Rift, a virtual reality headset that’s still en route to the consumer market.

Topshop Unique’s AW14 show at Turbine Hall will be rigged up with HD streams, 360-degree views, photos and more. Shoppers can watch online, but four lucky winners who share their Fashion Week looks online with the hashtag #TopshopGoesVirtual will get an even more intimate look. They’ll be watching live through fully immersive virtual reality from within the window display of Topshop’s Oxford Circus flagship.

Wired has the details:

“Those wearing the headsets — incorporating headphones and the Oculus Rift — will be able to see the live catwalk unfold if they look straight ahead on one virtual screen as well as the celebrities they are sitting “next to”, thanks to an 180-degree wide angle on the stream. If they look behind them at a second virtual screen they’ll get a view into the backstage area, where models will be having their hair and makeup done. If the wearer happens to look up, they will ascend into a higher level, where they will be able to see the rafters and a number of 360-degree images of, for example, celebrity selfies. All around the virtual screens and other elements, the environment has been designed to look like the Turbine Hall, with concrete and large girders.”

For more details, check out the link. And here’s the video:

Written by Nissa on February 12, 2014 – 4:35 pm -
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The Light Launches #LeedsLoveWall

lightleedsWhen you’re in love, some times you just want to shout it to the whole world. The Light is giving shoppers a slightly more practical approach to sharing their love with the Leeds Love Wall.

A large wall has been set up in the center’s main courtyard, and it’s already filling up with messages of love. The center is encouraging shoppers to post any messages of love, be they romantic, familiar or friendly—all forms of (tasteful) love are welcome.

The Light plans to pick out a few on February 15 to mark as winners, and the lovestruck scribes behind them will get surprise gifts. And while reading the board is reserved for folks in the center, shoppers who can’t make it in can tweet @thelightleeds with their #leedslovewall messages so center staff can post their labours of love up for them.

To promote the wall, the center has been sharing inspirational messages of love on its Facebook page since it went up. It’ll stay up until the fortnight of romance is over on February 15.

Written by Nissa on February 5, 2014 – 4:39 pm -
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St. David’s Earns Big Environmental Award

130stdavidsSt. David’s Shopping Centre has a great reason to celebrate this month. It just picked up the Green Apple National Green Champions award for its commitment to waste management and sustainability.

The center has successfully diverted 100% of its waste from the landfill. For its efforts, it was presented with the internationally-recognized accolade.

According to the center, St. David’s has diverted nearly 1700 tons of waste from the landfill since establishing its on-site Manual Recycling Facility. Eight full-time staff members sort the waste materials, including cardboard, hard and soft plastics, textiles, aluminum and glass. The materials have brought in a £42,000 increase in revenue. 81% of the overall waste heads to recyclers, and the remainder goes to a local energy-from-waste facility.

“We’re delighted to have received such a prestigious award and it’s all down to the dedication of our operations team who have been tirelessly working towards making our waste operation the success that it is,” said Steven Madeley, centre director.

“With over 180 retailers, it is important that we all work together to ensure that our waste is managed as effectively and efficiently as possible. We are now in the enviable position of diverting 100 per cent of our waste from landfill and are making a profit on this waste too.”

Written by Nissa on January 29, 2014 – 5:32 pm -
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