Malls to use art promotions to attract Christmas shoppers

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 3:16am

Dutch sculptor and local painters ... Italian lifestyle brand designer... No, that's not a line-up for an art festival, but attractions to be offered by local shopping arcades as part of their Christmas promotions.

Arts and fun are emerging as the major themes for the coming festive promotions in a number of big shopping centres, aimed at attracting both local and mainland shoppers, with large numbers of the latter expected.

Sun Hung Kai Properties says it will spend HK$19 million on festive displays and marketing at its APM shopping mall next to Kwun Tong MTR station. It will decorate the mall's 6,000 sq ft centre, as a "Christmas Kingdom" complete with merry-go-round. The mall will have a nine-metre Christmas tree.

Maureen Fung Sau-yim, general manager of Sun Hung Kai Properties' leasing department, said the company had invited Italian artist Simone Legno to put his cult-favourite designs on display. Legno is a co-founder of the Japanese-inspired lifestyle brand, Tokidoki, which means "sometimes" in Japanese.

To ensure the mall draws enough mainland shoppers, Fung said the company would arrange 90 tours to bring up to 4,500 mainland visitors from Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou to the mall during November and December.

She estimates total spending by the visitors to APM could amount to some HK$28 million.

"Mainlanders love European culture," said Fung.

SHKP expects Christmas sales at the APM mall will be up by 15-20 per cent on last year's, at between HK$520 million and HK$550 million.

More than 20 million visitors are expected at the mall during November and December, up 15 per cent from last year.

Sino Land says it has invited Dutch artist Ferry Staverma to display his paper sculptures at its Gold Coast shopping centre in Tuen Mun.

And Wharf Holdings will bring a Lego concept installation to its Times Square mall in Causeway Bay during the holidays, featuring 11 themed houses and a train.