Some 5,000 shoppers in Kamloops, British Columbia, took part in a five-hour Mardi Gras street party hosted by the Kamloops Business Improvement Area Association. Activities ranged from a dunking tank and apple bobbing to dart throwing and bean-bag tossing. The festivities cost the association $260, and generated $5,765 in revenue.
While Miss America was being crowned, all eyes were on a group of cute canines at Eastland Center’s “All American Dog Pageant”. Judges assessed the pooches as they competed in swimsuit, talent, and sportswear competitions. The media loved the event, which garnered publicity valued at over $48,000.
Burlington Square’s reputation as a festive downtown marketplace was waning, just as the local newspaper ran a story on the large amount of Vermonters leaving for warmer climates through February and March. The mall staged a “Spring is in the Bag” promotion, offering the first 500 shoppers to present receipts of $100+ a beach bag filled with goodies, and giving 3,000 customers the chance to win a vacation for two to Aruba. Merchants’ sales increased 10% to 373% on the day of the vacation draw, and mall sales were up 4% in February and 8% in March.
White Flint used silent, vibrating pagers to notify its shoppers when their tables were ready in The Cheesecake Factory — or when three hours of supervised play had passed, and it was time to retrieve their children.
Rivercenter, like many downtown malls, wasn’t a stranger to complaints about traffic and parking. A two-hour free parking program showed that it wasn’t fulfilling its shoppers’ needs, so Rivercenter mailed out brochures featuring 12 free all-day parking passes, along with discount coupons and VIP cards. The program generated an average of 31 cars per day, creating $554,778 in potential sales. Overall mall sales increased 20 percent.
The Galleria at South Bay hosted its Parte Rama dance party to encourage (and thank) local high school students for partying safe and sober. Attendance was limited to 800, and tickets were sold for $5. The school with the most students in attendance also received $250 for their Associated Student Body.
In Los Angeles, Eagle Rock Plaza spruced up Santa’s arrival by replacing his sleigh with a red Ferrari. Plans were already in place for next year, when he would arrive in a Jacuzzi-equipped limousine, along with Elvis and Marilyn Monroe impersonators.
To drive mall gift certificate sales, Huntington Beach Mall offered a free $10 gift certificate to any shopper who purchased four $25 gift certificates (to a limit of $50 in free certificates). It worked: gift certificate sales for December totaled just under $40,000 – a 310 percent increase over 1992.
In July 1994, Tropical Storm Alberto ravaged Florida and Georgia. Infinitee Communications Inc., an Atlanta-based company, designed and sold 800 T-shirts to make a $4,000 contribution to the American Red Cross.
During its back-to-school season, Biggs Park Mall hosted a “Grubbiest Sneaker Contest”. Young shoppers could deposit their shoes into a container in the mall to be judged. The grand-prize winner was awarded new shoes, and runners-up received mall gift certificates.