The South Shore Plaza is seeking to make shopping a more enjoyable experience this holiday with surprise gifts, bag carrying services, and even escorts to customers' cars.
According to Mall Manager Vicki Bartkiewicz, the mall has offered similar features in the past, but none to this extent.
“We dabbled a little bit at the South Shore Plaza in the past with the 'Surprise and Delight' [event], but this year we’ve really gone full holiday spirit with it,” she said. “It’s been a lot of fun for our customers and it's been a lot of fun for the management staff as well.”
Mall staffers in uniform, stationed near directories, are helping answer questions and give directions.
Management has also been going around handing out at least 10 $5 Dunkin’ Donut gift cards a day to those who look like they need a break. The staff is also handing out bottled water and candy canes.
“The people are so surprised. One woman said, ‘You made my day!’ She had a lot of bags, sitting in the soft seating area,” Bartkiewicz said. “It’s nice. We’ve been doing that every day since Black Friday and will continue through Christmas Eve.”
A security staff member is also stationed at the mall entrance, opening doors for shoppers, welcoming them to the Plaza, and helping carry bags to their cars.
Starting this weekend, mall employees will also have golf carts to help shuttle people to their cars.
Though nothing has been finalized, Bartkiewicz hopes to continue this tradition into future years, especially after the positive feedback from the customers.
“It just is delightful for all of it,” Bartkiewicz said. “I’m truly enjoying doing it. It makes me feel, when you go up to a customer and say, 'You look like you’ve had a busy day, here’s a gift card and relax,' to see their look and they start taking to you, about how much shopping they’ve been doing, it’s good all over.”
All Simon Property malls have similar attractions during the holiday season. Depending on the location, gift cards may be to different places.
Although the hope is to potentially draw more customers into the mall with this type of event, Christmas has already been kind to the Plaza thus far, and compared with last year, things seem busier, Bartkiewicz said.
“Of course we wont know true sales numbers till end of January, but what I’m seeing is it’s brisk during the week and it’s very busy on the weekend, and I truly see people carrying multiple bags and [hear] positive feedback from the retailers,” she said.
The mall also has extended hours, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., for the remainder of the holiday season.
For more information about the mall and its specials, visit their website.