GGP is Innovating the Holiday Shopping Spirit

2017's holiday season is in the midst of a retail renaissance

By the end of 2017, The National Retail Federation predicts holiday retail sales will rise above the previous year's numbers by 3.6-4 percent–a total spend of up to $682 billion. The trend reflects a season in which memories are made via retail experiences, from gifting excursions to snapshots with Santa. GGP is helping retailers deliver new types of seasonal magic in shopping centers across the U.S. From personalized digital toy design to larger-than-life decor installations, these are the experiences lighting up established traditions and evolving the retail experience.

Personalization Gets Younger

As tech-savvy children's tastes evolve, so too do GGP's Santa photo sets. This year, families can experience personalized play at Santa’s Toy Factory, a Mattel-sponsored experience popping up at Southwest Plaza (Denver, CO), The Parks Mall at Arlington (Arlington, TX), North Point Mall (Alpharetta, GA) and Clackamus Town Center (Happy Valley, OR). Kids get hands-on toy testing experience and can even design their own digital prototypes of Barbie® patterns, Thomas & Friends™ engines and digital Hot Wheels® cars. This exciting Santa experience engages children in a unique way by allowing them to create their perfect toy– something truly one-of-a-kind.

Digital Meets Physical

At Oakbrook Center in Illinois, a new interactive app lets families participate in Santa's fabled "Naughty or Nice" book. Parents log into the app online using their Facebook or Google+ account, and then submit their child’s naughtiness or niceness to a private, confidential database. Each time families visit Oakbrook Center, their child can check the Naughty or Nice book. When the child returns to Oakbrook Center to sit on Santa’s lap, Santa uses an iPad (concealed within his Naughty or Nice Book) to find the child on his list. Digital data meets physical experience, bringing tradition to life and adding another dimension to the magic of Santa.

Sensory / Spectacle

Larger-than-life installations and sensory experiences can elevate shopping trips from mundane to unforgettable. This holiday season, GGP is supporting retailers' sales by transforming common spaces into environments that lift shoppers' spirits. Real birch trees create an aromatic forest at Oakbrook Center, and an enormous Christmas Countdown “Advent” Calendar glows with animated holiday videos. At Crossroads Center and Saint Louis Galleria, guests can pose for photos in a cozy armchair surrounded by a Norman Rockwell-inspired Santa Claus sculpture. At Fashion Show, modern light displays escalate the holiday tree experience in true Vegas style, and guests can embrace childhood nostalgia by interacting with a larger-than-life Light Brite. At Pioneer Place in Portland, “Hipster Santa” shows off his “Naughty” or “Nice” sleeve tattoos for photos.

Shoppers have come to expect that the holiday season will offer chances for making unforgettable memories with family and friends. Using tech integrations and personalized experiences, GGP is bringing consumers a new, innovative holiday retail experience with a sense of seasonal spectacle. As countless families can attest, there are some holiday shopping experiences that you simply can't get online.

To keep up with new activations and innovations for the holiday shopping season and beyond, follow our LinkedIn page.