With their bright Christmas lights and diverse events, shopping centres bring the holiday spirit to their customers. Shopping centres are also excellent partners for their tenants, who receive many kinds of support for their Christmas sales and marketing.
Sponda’s Forum and Citycenter shopping centres in the heart of Helsinki have invested in creating a special Christmas atmosphere this year. Mannerheimintie is festooned with new Christmas lights and the shopping centres try to outshine each other with their Christmas lighting as well.
“We have spent a significant sum of money on Christmas lighting this year. I dare say that we have the most beautiful Christmas lights in central Helsinki this year,” says Pia Rosvall, Marketing Manager at Forum, which was recently voted the best shopping centre of the year.
Citycenter also has a special source of pride: the city’s largest and most attractive sausage! The structure that earned “the Sausage Building” its nickname has been dressed up for Christmas with interwoven LED lights that give the entire facade a fairytale glow.
Pleasant shopping experiences
Sponda’s Zeppelin shopping centre in Oulu and Elo shopping centre in Ylöjärvi are similarly prepared for the holiday season with Christmas trees, decorations and a wide range of events and activities. At Elo, customers can also see the longest Christmas greeting in Ylöjärvi.
“The goal of our Christmas decorations is to create a peaceful and unhurried environment where Christmas shopping is a pleasure. Adding to the atmosphere are various performances to be featured every weekend during the run-up to Christmas. We want to give local communities the opportunity to perform at our shopping centre,” says Timo Matinlompolo, Shopping Centre Manager at Elo.
All four shopping centres will feature Christmas performances throughout December. To make life easier for customers dealing with the demands of the busy festive period, the shopping centres have arranged additional parking guidance and gift wrapping services during peak periods. They have also increased the number of personnel to ensure customers’ convenience even during the busiest of times. Customers wishing to avoid the most congested times should visit the shopping centres early in the morning or late in the evening on weekdays. Weekends are the busiest time.
“During special events, we will keep things running smoothly by assigning staff to manage traffic in our parking facilities and allocating more personnel to maintain order and keep the premises clean,” says Veli-Pekka Mäkinen, Shopping Centre Manager at Zeppelin.
A season for good deeds
Christmas is a time of good will and helping others, in homes as well as shopping centres. Elo is participating in the Christmas Tree Fundraising Campaign of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare, while Forum is participating in the Christmas Tree Fundraising Campaign of the Junior Chambers of Commerce of Finland, both of which bring Christmas cheer to children from low-income families. Forum and Citycenter are also involved in Christmas in the Heart of Helsinki, a joint campaign by businesses in the city centre.
“We invite everyone to download the campaign’s mobile application. The campaign donates EUR 0.50 to the Helsinki Mother and Child Home Association for every download,” Rosvall explains.
The beneficiary of Citycenter’s own charity drive will be chosen by customers.
“Our theme is a Christmas of memorable experiences, delightful surprises and caring. We are partnering with our tenants to put together a Christmas basket for a charity chosen based on suggestions from our customers,” explains Shopping Centre Manager Tiina Fågel.
Christmas is a time of brisk trade
Shopping centres are excellent partners for retailers, as customers come to shopping centres to enjoy themselves and make purchases in the spirit of the holiday season. Zeppelin, for example, had nearly 15,000 customers on the first day of the Christmas season!
Shopping centres also provide concrete sales and marketing support for their tenants.
“We held an information event for our tenants in November to explain the various opportunities for exposure presented by the shopping centre’s Christmas activities,” Fågel says.
Christmas is a peak sales period for retailers in shopping centres. Mäkinen estimates that Zeppelin’s total sales in December will exceed the average monthly sales figure by more than 50 per cent.
“For retailers, the significance of Christmas goes beyond that figure. The run-up to Christmas is a period in which they can typically sell merchandise at normal margins, without major discounts, which makes the last month of the year particularly significant for retailers’ annual sales performance,” Fågel explains.
Highlights from our shopping centres:
FORUM: Recently voted the Best Finnish Shopping Centre of the Year, Forum in Helsinki shines with Christmas lights. The shopping centre’s interior Christmas lighting is said to be the most beautiful in the entire city.
ELO: One of the largest shopping centres in the Pirkanmaa region, Elo is easy to reach by both car and bus. Take a break from Christmas shopping to admire the longest Christmas greeting in Ylöjärvi and get into the Christmas spirit by enjoying performances by local artists.
CITYCENTER: Citycenter is home to the most attractive sausage in Helsinki. The sausage-like structure that forms part of the building’s facade is dressed up for Christmas in an outfit made from thousands of LED lights. In addition to the usual shops that are already familiar to customers, there are new acquaintances to be made at Citycenter this holiday season.
ZEPPELIN: Zeppelin will host its annual Christmas Market for the third time this year, featuring lovely handicraft products as well as Christmas food. This year, Christmas shoppers at Zeppelin will also find a seasonal pop-up store by Finlayson. On Fridays and Saturdays, outdoor fires lit along the motorway ramps in partnership with the local Lions Club add to the rich atmosphere.