How one shopping center gave their customers and merchants a holly, jolly holiday.
Black Friday to Christmas Eve. It’s the equivalent of the shopping center industry’s Super Bowl. Many shopping center marketing managers plan for it year-round, creating special events and shopping experiences to drive traffic to their centers and increase sales.
Legends Outlets in Kansas City, KS, has been hosting a successful holiday season—packed with events and giveaways—for ten years. The 2014 holiday season was no exception. Legends celebrated with multiple events, activities and fun prizes for shoppers. The season kicked off on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, with a special tree-lighting ceremony featuring local musicians playing holiday music. The highlight of the evening was the countdown to the lighting of the dynamic synchronized lighting display around its 45-foot holiday tree. Legends Outlets distributed electronic candles to attendees to create a spectacular illuminated area around the tree and provide a sense of participation.
Deals and steals
Five days later, on Thanksgiving night, the shopping center partnered with their movie theater, Phoenix Theaters Legends 14, to offer a free movie screening at midnight. The holiday movie was determined by the center’s Facebook fans in the weeks leading up to the event. The screening was supplemented by 23 consecutive hours of Black Friday shopping, events and giveaways during Legends Outlets’ Moonlight Madness event, which started at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving night and ran until the close (9 p.m.) on Black Friday. The first 200 patrons to arrive at the center courtyard received a Black Friday survival kit, which included items from Legends Outlets’ retailers—such as protein bars, water bottles and coupons. Additionally, throughout the event, shoppers could register to win giveaways at the prize center. Entertainment included a DJ increasing the energy with holiday music.
Following the Moonlight Madness event, Phoenix Theaters Legends 14 also offered free, family-friendly holiday movies on a first-come, first-serve basis every Saturday at 10 a.m.
Legends Outlets’ popular 12-Day Holiday Giveaway December 1-12, returned for the third year where Legends Outlets’ fans counted down to the holidays with chances to win valuable prizes. From Dec. 1-11, fans won prizes from various Legends Outlets’ merchants. On Dec.12, the grand prize, a $500 Legends Outlets gift card, was given away. Fans could enter for multiple chances to win on the Legends Outlets’ Facebook page.
Legends also had a holiday Instagram contest to provide shoppers with chances to win valuable prizes during the holiday season. Shoppers showcased their holiday spirit by taking pictures in front of the center’s 45-foot tree and/or other holiday decorations. Posting to Instagram using the hashtag #LegendsHoliday qualified them for a shot at a $500 Legends Outlets gift card.
Each year, Legends Outlets kicks off the holiday season and keeps it in high gear for merchants and patrons. Some shopping centers sell sponsorships to outside businesses or brands to offset costs and generate revenue. Legends Outlets keeps it all in the property family. Jessica Bachtel, Director of Marketing for Legends Outlets said: “This event is a way for us to showcase our merchants and give our patrons what is relevant to them while visiting Legends Outlets Kansas City.”