Georgiana Oltenescu, corporate marketing manager of AFI Europe Romania, talks to BR about the developer’s plans for its two shopping malls this winter season.
What are your expectations for this year’s holiday shopping season in terms of the number of visitors, and how do you plan to achieve this?
Every year we see a substantial traffic increase at both our shopping malls – AFI Cotroceni and AFI Ploiesti – which in turn also generates higher sales. AFI Cotroceni reports the highest traffic among local malls with an average of 52,000 visitors per day. Over the next period we expect significant increases in line with the previous years when we reached records of over 100,000 shoppers per day.
This year we have prepared for our shoppers a Christmas-themed fair that will give them gift ideas. On the main corridors of AFI Cotroceni we will have an ideas exhibition put together with scenographer Dan Tita. There will be a lot to choose from, from clothing and accessories to interior design products, gadgets and toys.
An alternative we offer our shoppers is the AFI Gift Card, a solution for anyone who wants to give the perfect gift but lacks the inspiration or time. It is a value card for individuals and companies alike, worth between RON 50 and RON 10,000, which can be used in numerous stores in the mall.
In AFI Ploiesti we have a promotional campaign called “At least once be Santa Claus for yourself” whose grand prize is an Audi A1.
Will this year’s marketing campaign for the end of year shopping season be different from what you have done in the years before?
Over the coming period, we will focus on the winter season campaign. Shopping for gifts is a challenge each year because of either lack of time or inspiration. This is why we plan to offer our shoppers a source of inspiration so shopping remains pleasant and relaxing.
For six weeks we will hold the largest gifts fair in AFI Cotroceni. We have also prepared an eight-day Saint Nicholas promotion with the footwear brands present in the mall.
With the launch of the winter campaign, we also plan to refresh our own brands. The names of our shopping malls will be changed to AFI Cotroceni and AFI Ploiesti, respectively, which is how they are known by most of our shoppers. On this occasion, we have also upgraded our logos. We want to address as large an audience as possible, families and young people, for whom shopping is a way of life but for whom each shopping decision is also rational. In other words, we target people who know what they want and who are willing to invest more for quality products.
Will AFI Cotroceni be open this year for Christmas and on January 1?
Yes, as before, AFI Cotroceni will be open for Christmas as well as on New Year’s Eve and January 1 and 2. Our holiday working hours have become something of a tradition as people can come and shop when most other stores in town are closed. AFI Cotroceni will be open between 10.00 and 22:00 on December 24, 26 and 31 and on January 2, and between 14:00 and 22:00 on December 25 and January 1. AFI Ploiesti will also have special opening hours.
How is the mall’s tenant mix different now from the beginning of the year? Who are the new tenants and who has left?
We have brought in several new tenants to AFI Cotroceni this year. These include fashion retailers such as Fossil, Tezenis, New Era, Sabrini, Cozette Boutique, Lacoste, Viggo, Anna Cori, Louis Purple and Tezyo. This year we have also launched AFI Aventurier, the largest adventure park in Europe in a shopping center. Another entertainment tenant is Max Fun and new restaurants include Taksim, Cremeria Emilia, Sushi Bar and Japanese cake store Motiko.
New tenants in AFI Ploiesti include Pimkie, Candrani, Tally Weijl, Max Fun, Starbucks, Deichmann, Calzedonia and Donuteria.