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OC’s Largest Centers Spend to Let Shoppers Know ‘We’re Open’

OC’s two biggest luxe malls want to tell shoppers they’re open for business.

South Coast Plaza and Fashion Island have gone on a spending spree to boost marketing efforts around their respective properties in hopes of coaxing people out of their homes and into their centers as retail begins to slowly reopen.

Irvine Company Retail Properties sent out mailers and put up signage at Irvine Co. properties welcoming shoppers back to its Fashion Island, Irvine Spectrum Center, The Market Place and other retail centers. The message aims to remind people of the company’s open-air shopping center formats with the tag line “A Breath of Fresh Air” as COVID-19 precautions remain in place.

A short video on Fashion Island’s Instagram outlined various cleaning protocols implemented for center crews, which has received nearly 2,000 views at press time. Irvine Co. is also using the #FreshAirOC hashtag in marketing materials to further drive home the point.

Irvine Co., through a spokesman, declined to comment on the marketing push.

Open-air centers could prove to be a nice selling point to shoppers as the state looks to more aggressively tackle the spread of COVID-19. Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month mandated all Californians put their face masks back on when venturing out into public spaces where physical distancing isn’t possible. The move reversed an Orange County Board of Supervisors’ earlier decision easing the county’s policy on face coverings that allowed people to not have to don them while out.


South Coast Plaza meanwhile played to its luxury strengths in its reopening campaign while also stressing steps it’s taken to maintain a clean and safe environment.

The center reopened June 11 with more than 150 of its retail and restaurant tenants. It paired a comprehensive, multi-channel campaign with the reopening.

That included a video posted to the center’s website and social media, outlining the various health and safety precautions being implemented, along with some of the boutiques that have reopened.

“We’ve truly missed you and look forward to creating new memories together,” the center said in its Instagram post sharing the campaign video, which was viewed more than 10,000 times and reposted by some of its followers.

The South Coast SCP 2 Go curbside pickup program, which launched before the center’s reopening, also remains operational and is being played up in the campaign. The program provides a coordinated way for retailers to work with customers who buy online and would like to pick up their purchases without stepping foot into the center.

The luxury shopping center enlisted fashion illustrator Bil Donovan for the campaign’s art. Donovan has worked with brands such as Christian Dior, Ralph Rucci, Carolina Herrera and Vogue.

The artist’s exclusive work for South Coast Plaza ran in its print and digital channels.

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