Volume 26: Summer 2021 Edition Sample

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Volume 26: Summer 2021 Edition

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Holistic Care a New Mall Tenancy Focus

Gidget Foundation Australia and Karitane have hung their shingles side by side at Stockland’s Shellharbour center. The co-tenancy means that families, particularly new and expectant parents, now have access to specialist services to help them cope with a range of serious issues (e.g., perinatal depression and anxiety) as well as obtain tips on how to deal with elements of their daily routine, such as sleep and settling, feeding, and handling toddler behavior.

Both outreach organizations will operate from the top-level community room and will add to the increasing diversity of the center’s retail mix.

Charity Puts Down Mall Roots

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, international visa hospitality workers and other people in need in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, have relied on Hope Delivery for sustenance. But despite having prepared more than 300,000 meals, the community program had yet to find a permanent home from which to operate until recently when Stockland stepped in to help.

“We’re grateful that Stockland has provided a prime tenancy within their Piccadilly CBD retail precinct so we can continue with the great work we do with Hope Delivery. We’ve been searching since late last year for a location that has a kitchen suitable to accommodate the number of meals we need to produce, but also with a separate area where our volunteers have enough space to package the food for distribution,” explained chef and restaurateur, Neil Perry.

“Our new location at Piccadilly will allow us to produce upwards of 5,000 meals per week for those most vulnerable in our community, which is really exceptional.” 

Part of Stockland Picadilly‘s appeal is its CBD location, which makes it easy for volunteers to reach. It also gives the charity access to a new clientele.

“For the first time, we’ll also be selling our food for purchase to CBD workers, which will help us to fund even more charitable meals. We’re excited to offer more ways for the community to get involved, whether it be through donations, volunteering, or—soon—through purchasing meals to take home,” Perry noted.

For Louise Mason, Stockland’s group executive and CEO of commercial property, the plan makes sense given the expanded role that centers now play.

“COVID-19 has forced the retail industry to think differently about its shopping centers and consider new ways to utilize space that help make it more of a destination and remain relevant in such a challenged environment,” she noted.

“Our purpose at Stockland is to create ‘a better way to live’ and this was the perfect opportunity to do just that through supporting such a critical local initiative. Hope Delivery will not only improve the lives of those most vulnerable in our community but will also offer customers a novel, feel-good option for meal purchases. We’re proud to curate spaces within our retail assets to best serve our customers and communities and will continue to evaluate new ways to remix our centers to ensure that we’re maximizing potential.”

Hope Delivery cooks and boxes the meals, but it also relies on other groups to ensure that its packages get to those who need them most, partners like OzHarvest, a food rescue organization that’s on the recipient list.

“Neil and his team have supported OzHarvest since its inception and we’re thrilled to be part of this project. The impact of COVID-19 [means we have] seen many people turning to charities for the first time in their lives, and demand for our services went through the roof at a time when our resources were under pressure,” said founder and CEO, Ronni Kahn AO.

“Hope Delivery is supporting our emergency food relief services by providing around 5,000 cooked meals each week, on top of what we cook at OzHarvest. The meals are individually portioned and made with fresh and nutritious ingredients, providing immediate nourishment for some of the most vulnerable in our community.”

Hope Delivery has a permanent staff of four and counts on the daily support of up to a dozen additional helpers as well as corporate volunteers.

Even Better Than the Real Thing?

On a given day, somewhere in the world:

Zoe says, “Ooh, I love that little clutch you were wearing yesterday. Where did you get it?” 

“Thanks, it’s a Gucci,” Gabrielle answers. “I got it during that flash sale a couple of months ago.” 

This casual exchange could occur between a couple of women catching up during a weekday lunch break, or it could be snippets of a conversation that 12-year-olds are having about their last gaming session on Roblox. The platform that enables a global community of developers to deliver immersive 3D experiences is a popular hangout for Gen Zers. Back in May, it featured a pop-up make-believe Gucci garden created solely for product placement purposes and where young gamers could view, win, and, in some cases, buy limited-edition collectible accessories for their avatars to wear online, with prices ranging from US$1.20 to US$9. How many kids would spend their allowance money on such items? Plenty of them, according to Christina Wootton, VP of brand partnerships at Roblox.

“[Gen Zers], they sometimes see virtual products as more valuable than physical products,” she explained in a recent interview following the Gucci marketing collaboration. 

“We are definitely seeing that on Roblox, where it is all about storytelling and self-expression.”

The Gucci Garden Experience was only open for two weeks yet it was reportedly long enough for more than 4.5 million items to be “won.” For marketers whose businesses have suffered as of late because they haven’t been able to bridge the consumer generation gap, a metaverse that brings together VR, AR, and the web to allow users to interact with one another and role-play might offer some promising solutions. Not all brands will necessarily sell a lot of virtual product in such environments, but they’ll certainly gain a greater understanding of what’s appealing to Gen Zers, data that can later be used to inform decisions relating to physical merchandise and real-life destinations. The producers of “In the Heights,” this year’s big-screen blockbuster musical, saw that potential and opened the doors to their virtual world on Roblox this past June 4 through 20.

Roblox is just one of a few marketing avenues that Gucci is considering. It also partnered with Zepeto, the app and social media platform, to allow users to turn their selfies into 3D animated avatars and then dress themselves in Gucci collection pieces through in-app purchases before exploring a virtual branded villa. Another partnership was with Wildlife, maker of the Tennis Clash mobile game, with players entering virtual Gucci Open Tournaments and shopping for real-life outfits that mirror those they saw on the screen.


Roblox has seen eight million developers create 20 million experiences on its platform, generating 30.6 billion hours of player engagement since 2008. Users gain access to different worlds on the platform via App Store, Google Play, Amazon devices, Xbox One, Microsoft PC, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.

The Trendz Twist: If your shopping center doesn’t have a shoppable website, you can still use VR and AR environments to enhance its brand story. Collaborate with tenants to develop rich experiences such as AR fashion design activities using merchandise that on-site stores sell, F&B pairing games, and VR special events that VIP shoppers’ avatars can attend and then recap on social media.