S.cottsdale Fashion Square is completing the holiday season with increased foot traffic and offering a whimsical vacation experience for shoppers.
After scaling down much of last year’s holiday activity and witnessing most of the shift from retail to online shopping, this year has seen more crowded and cheery stores than before the pandemic.
“It’s definitely more festive and busier this year than last year,” said Melanie Sutton, Scottsdale Fashion Square Marketing Manager. “Compared to 2019, we are even surpassing those numbers in terms of foot traffic.”
Sutton believes this is because families are celebrating the chance to safely get together as well as celebrating the holidays.
“I think people are realizing that life is precious and that it is important to spend as much time as possible with family and friends,” she said. “People are definitely taking the extra step to bring the Christmas spirit.”
As shoppers spread the holiday cheer, Scottsdale Fashion Square sought to match the spirit by decorating the mall with poinsettias, delivering a Santa Claus experience with fewer guidelines than last year, providing live music and moments of history on Fridays and bringing back the Salvation Army for its annual “Tree of Angels” toy guide.
“We were able to pull the punches and spread the holiday cheer last year by limiting a lot of our activities,” Sutton said. “This year we are very excited to have the opportunity to add more celebrations.”
In addition to shoppers appreciating the increase in business, Sutton saw shoppers make the most of the mall’s decorations.
“Our customers appreciate the holiday ambiance and decor,” he said. “We saw several family photos taken in front of Christmas trees and we saw families walking with their lists outside.”
However, the thing that warmed Sutton’s heart the most was seeing shoppers remove a label from the Salvation Army’s “Tree of Angels” and shop for the baby whose name is written on it.
“It’s nice to see that families are generous enough to come and get the angel tags while they shop for the holidays alone,” Sutton said. “There is still a sense of generosity here.”
With all the generosity and good humor all over Scottsdale Fashion Square, Sutton admits there have been some trials and tribulations during the holiday season.
“It was a challenge not only here, but also in our partner centers: to find staff. But the great thing is that people take the extra time to help each other, ”he said.
For this reason, Sutton made sure to extend her appreciation to the staff who showed up for work over the holiday season.
“We want to extend our great appreciation and dedication to those who have worked this holiday season to create the best experience for all of our shoppers,” he said. “We are grateful to our team members, dealers, managers and everyone as a whole.”
To accommodate the influx of shoppers, Scottsdale Fashion Square has extended its closing hours until 10pm through December 23 and will be open from 9am to 6pm on Christmas Eve.
Sutton is also proud to report that amidst supply chain disruptions, most stores in Scottsdale Fashion Square have been able to secure items early.
“When it comes to inventory, some of our resellers prepared for inventory issues and had the ability to tailor inventory to meet customer wish lists,” he said.
However, as the calendar approaches Christmas Day, Sutton expects there will be longer lines at the checkout and more items going off the shelves, especially in toy stores.
“Toys have been one of the best items this season, which is why Macy’s partnered with Toys R Us to have a toy department,” he said. “Go! Calendars Go! Games go! Toys also has a great selection of various toys, Legos and playsets.”
For this reason, Sutton has a tip for shoppers looking for a last-minute gift.
“I advise shoppers to make a list of who they need to buy and which stores they need to visit,” he said.
Overall, Sutton is pleased with how the season went in Scottsdale Fashion Square and hopes shoppers stay safe while shopping.
“I believe buyers are ready to venture out,” he said. “We have also seen many shoppers wearing masks and taking precautionary measures. We also have a plethora of health and wellness with our sanitation stations around the mall, which creates a safe environment that makes our customers feel positive. ”