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Holiday shopping deals cap an upbeat 2013 for Westfield Santa Anita mall

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Holiday shopping continues to be strong at the Westfield Santa Anita Mall in Arcadia with merchants continuing deals and some, like Forever 21, continuing their discounts aggressively. Also, look out for complimentary gift card giveaways.

Westfield’s regional marketing director, Steve Jaffe, told me stores have worked hard to make up the sales that would have been lost due to the shortened holiday shopping season.

Is there life after Black Friday weekend?

The mall [Santa Anita] continues to be busy. Black Friday is the kick off and it’s only the beginning. So you start off strong and you continue that through Christmas Eve.

The holiday sales period created a sales cycle that’s one week shorter this year. Everybody has been aggressive and remains aggressive. That’s one of the reasons you saw the 8pm sales starting on Thanksgiving night. We call it Gray Thursday.

And are those Thanksgiving sales expected to continue next year?

Once you roll out an effort like that it’s tough to roll it back. It remains to be seen if it grew shares or stole shares from the rest of the weekend. In other words, did Thursday night sales take away from Saturday sales?

Anything new taking place at the mall this season?

We have a fun initiative with holiday ambassadors. Our ambassadors will be helping folks by singing Christmas carols to those in line, reading stories to kids. There will be fun things with Mistletoe. We’ll be bringing folks to the center with shuttles to and from their cars and our ambassadors will be passing out complimentary gift cards at random and handing $5 gift card from a place like one of the coffee shops.

How was 2013 for Westfield’s economy and what’s the outlook for 2014?

We were up in sales and traffic for the year and we’re feeling positive about where the year will end up. Our Black Friday was strong.

For 2014, we’ve got exciting things happening like new amenities to enhance the customer experience and we’ll have new retail news to announce. It’s all preliminary right now but we will further enhance the customer experience from shopping and entertainment perspective.

The center is popular with families, children, moms and we’ll grow our Wi-Fi and valet services in the coming year.

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Steve wouldn’t elaborate on plans for 2014. He said the Santa Anita mall handles about 13 million visitors a year and Westfield expects to exceed that number for 2013. He said the mall is “one of the busiest centers in the Westfield portfolio.”

Check the Westfield Santa Anita website for up-to-date information on mall activities.

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