Apparently, some flashy entertainment and interactive fun are likely to put shoppers in the mood to buy.
Door busters and discounted merchandise are great, but where’s the entertainment value? (Besides the amusement you get watching two moms fight over the last Zhu Zhu hamster or whatever, I mean.) In today’s hard-times atmosphere, retailers are going all out to get shoppers excited enough to open their wallets. Examples:
A Neiman Marcus in Dallas hosts a crawl-inside window display. A Dallas Morning News story describes the fanciful scene, in which children can climb into the display from openings on the street. The idea was based on kids’ essays on where energy comes from:
Peanuts, grapes, math, music, dance and kindness turn into energy in a pretend power-generating factory.
Children navigate the factory through an 85-foot-long tube.
Parents can watch from the street and peek in through the tube’s see-through panels.
They’ll see elephants fly after eating a peanut mixture, and monkeys levitate from energy transferred to their shoes when stomping grapes.
Shopping centers in Los Angeles are increasing their marketing and decorating budgets in an attempt to pull in more consumers. According to the LA Times, the Beverly Center is hosting aerial performers, who spin around and do stunts 80 feet in the air, among some 60 other free holiday performances. There are plenty of freebies and giveaways to be had to L.A.-area malls:
Shopping centers are also offering more deals and freebies in hopes of enticing frugal shoppers who have been avoiding the malls during the recession. Some of those promotions include free gift cards or champagne glasses with a minimum purchase, complimentary services such as gift wrapping and refreshments, and giveaways of laptops and shopping sprees…
South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa is spending 25% to 30% more on the shopping center’s holiday lineup this year, one of its biggest ever, said Debra Gunn Downing, executive director of marketing.
Among its offerings: free hot cocoa and cider Fridays through Sundays, twice as many live musical performances as last year, and holiday landscaping featuring new pottery with poinsettias, ivy trailings and “a variety of florals in reds and whites.”
Malls all over the country, per the AP, are offering free breakfasts and free parking, and about 100 retail centers are giving away two million bite-size cookies (due to a partnership with Nestle Tollhouse). IKEA is another retailer giving something away: free breakfast for everyone over the big Black Friday shopping weekend.