March 15, 2018
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Yorkdale's New CONCEPT Focus: Prom

Bubble-gum hues, fairytale gowns, and sleek tuxedos are about to invade the pages of fashion magazines and shop windows at a mall near you. With spring comes prom and bridal party season, so Yorkdale (Toronto, Canada) is dedicating its CONCEPT retail discovery pop-up space to it this month. In addition to featuring five brands there—Dough T.O, Lipcandy, Dyson, Novon, and Shari Gold—the shop will serve as the mall's prom marketing headquarters where students will not only see the latest fashion looks but also get help with putting them together.

Yorkdale's Prom Experience program includes professional styling services at a student hourly rate of C$25 (US$19.30) per person—bookings are made at the concierge desk inside the CONCEPT store.  The mall's marketing team created a Prom Directory that lists the names and phone numbers of retailers offering fashions, accessories, and services for special occasions. Another hook is a contest in which students present their prom-related purchase receipts for a chance to win back their expenses in mall gift cards. Given that most students are tied to their mobile phones 24/7, Yorkdale is giving them an extra incentive to get social. Those who take selfies with their shopping bags and post the pictures online with the #GRWYKD hashtag earn an extra contest ballot.

While the Prom Experience was created to drive sales aggressively until the end of this month, it does have a community relations component.  Yorkdale is accepting donations of gently used clothes, footwear, and accessories, as well as new makeup, on behalf of New Circles Community Services, which runs a prom boutique where local high-school students in need can get outfitted for free.

West Side, 4 Stories: Development Features Movable Building: The Shed is equipped with a telescoping shell that can be extended to turn an adjacent open-air plaza into a performance hall. (Boston Herald)

Change Please: London-based coffee company helping the homeless off the streets takes positive message global. (Independent)

GPT Gets Green Light for $230M Parramatta Tower: Property to feature an ‘urban room’ event space and an elevated, river-facing podium terrace. (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Drones Give Rural Economy Tech Push: Finding safe landing spots among challenges facing delivery system providers like JetGo. (China Daily)
Mall Exhibit Introduces New Tenant

If a leasing team can bring a new-to-market retail concept to the mall, it makes for a meaty promotional concept for the marketing team. That's assuming, of course, that shoppers know the brand. One Aussie team isn't willing to gamble on that.

Tactics Online Subscribers Can Read More Here
pick of the kicks

Personalization is key for marketers in the current Retail Land of Me and this coming Saturday, Cabot Circus will give its shoppers exactly what they want. The Bristol (UK) center will host a free Kustomised Kicks event together with local graffiti artists from the Superdoodle creative production company.

Shoppers will need to book ahead before they line up to have their pair of sneakers hand-painted in whichever design they choose. The artists will set up just outside of the House of Fraser store, ready to work their magic. For customers who don't own any blank-canvas kicks, the center's Office shoe store will be happy to sell them a pair of all-white Converse sneakers at a 20-percent discount.

"Seamless" Shopping Will Have Huge Impact on Jobs, Social Contact: With increasing automation, human interactions on the retail floor are at risk of becoming obsolete. (Vancouver Sun)

Apple Acquires Digital Magazine Platform Texture: Deal could boost interest in eight-year-old service, analyst says. (BBC) 

Is This the End of the Traditional Department Store?: Macy’s decision to move into discount format could signal a retail sector shakeup. (New Zealand Herald)

Beijing Police Order Limit on Foreigners in University District Pizza Bars and Cafes: Tightening of security in popular spots comes ahead of the nation’s big political meeting. (South China Morning Post)
What's next: the pureplay leasing chase
While some store chains are kicking the bucket in very high-profile fashion, others endure by repositioning themselves as the frontier towns of omni-channel retailing. It's only logical then that forward-looking shopping center teams should hop online to find new clients to lift their properties' occupancy rates.
Tactics Online Subscribers Can Read More Here

macy's: the chase

Spring is around the corner and Macy's is wasting no time in getting its female shoppers motivated to freshen up their wardrobes. Together with its creative agency, BBDO New York, it released The Chase yesterday, a 90-second TV spot that follows six women and highlights the transformative style moment when they come face-to-face with better-dressed versions of themselves. For the big reveal, Macy's turned the spot into a social media event, with an Instagram live hack that Cassandra Jones, its fashion director, co-hosted with Wendy Nguyen, the fashion blogger behind Wendy's Lookbook. Participants were able to submit items they needed help styling, leading them and online viewers with a clear call to action: "Find spring fashion. Find the remarkable you." Just like the spot's accompanying Blondie song says, Macy's is pretty confident that its customers will be successful in their chase, one way or another.

Kroger Grows Home Delivery to 45 Cities with Instacart Deal, Including Cincinnati: Instacart expects to hire more than 100 contracted shoppers who will also make its deliveries. (

Malls In Canada Aren't Just Being Killed By Online Shopping: Changing consumer tastes and rising popularity of used goods trading platforms also responsible for traditional retail woes. (Huffpost)

As Bots Flourish on Instagram, Companies Form to Fight Them: Marketers are getting worried that some of their paid influencers are followed by fake social media accounts. (The New York Times)

15 Trader Joe's Shopping Strategies to Save You Money: Retailer bucks the trend by foregoing coupons, loyalty programs, discounts, and other promotional tactics. (The Oregonian)
This Mall Now Guides the Visually Impaired

Shopping at a couple of intu malls just got a little easier for the visually impaired. intu Metrocentre in Gateshead and intu Eldon Square in Newcastle have both put their staff through Henshaws’ visual impairment awareness training (VIAT) so that they could better assist visitors with special needs.

According to Robert Cooper, the organization's director of community services, approximately 7,700 people in the Newcastle-upon-Tyne region are living with sight loss, and that number is expected to rise to 9,850 by 2030. That makes the intu initiative that much more valuable.

"I have really enjoyed the experience of having a relaxed wander around the shops with Pauline, who is such a pleasant member of staff. This has given me the opportunity to experience a fun shopping trip without having to rely on family or friends," noted Susan Jones, a training coordinator for Eye Wish Access, who trialed the accompanied shopping program.

"It has been so long since I have been able to enjoy going shopping by myself, as it is actually impossible to navigate this journey without support. It has been a really liberating experience and I’d encourage other people to give it a try. I'll certainly be back!"

intu will launch the service next week and extend it to visitors 18 years and older who are blind or partially sighted. The program covers a two-hour personal shopping experience with a member of the service team and shoppers will be able to book a maximum of two appointments annually.

The shopping trips will be offered on a first come, first served basis and there will be four, two-hour appointments available to book at both shopping centers each month.

the signs that bind
Keeping up with new advertising technology, let alone retail competitors, isn’t getting any easier. An American developer is about to get a better (and firmer) handle on things by giving several of its flagship centers a joint digital boost.
Tactics Online Subscribers Can Read More Here
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"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”

Hans Hoffmann, German visual artist and teacher (1880 – 1966)

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